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September 2010· Vol 11 Issue 8

Boxing clever

COMPETITION Win a complete brand overhaul courtesy of FFD and WowMe! Design

Why fine chocolatiers are working harder to highlight their artisan credentials DELI OF THE MONTH A new lease of life for Belfast’s Arcadia Deli

ENGLAND’S IDENTITY CRISIS Food groups seek a stronger showing for English food



Our pick of the year’s best beers and quirkiest ales


September 2010 路 Vol.11 Issue 8


in this issue

I’ve just read Mick Whitworth’s chocolate feature, which starts on page 29. It’s a stonking read, but curiously it brought to mind the recent announcement that Sir Terry of Tesco is retiring. Throughout my life I’ve enthusiastically supported the free market economy but how obscene is it that a bunch of over-paid, fat-cat hedge-fund managers can buy £600m worth of cocoa on the world market and in doing so, force up prices to a 32-year high in the midst of a global recession? Mick writes of the potential impact on small artisan chocolate businesses, but that’s merely a starter for 10. The butterfly fluttering its wings in Lombard Street today may not cause panic in distant cocoa plantations tomorrow but if high prices force artisan producers out of business during recessionary times, world demand will slump and prices could fall to a 32-year low. The free market economy has become sustainability’s deadliest enemy. Last month, Cumbria’s Low Sizergh Farm announced it was giving up production of organic milk. According to its website, reasons include the economy and two price reductions, which, coupled with further investment needed to meet regulations, rendered organic milk unsustainable. You have to ask yourself why we can’t sustain organic dairy farming at a time when we’re not even self-sufficient in the stuff, with fully-laden tankers arriving daily from Europe. Sir Terry Leahy earned over £5m last year. Two other directors pocketed £3m and four were handed over £2m. Tesco is a publicly quoted company so its business ethics are driven by the demands of the City, which clearly loves what he’s doing. That explains why he’s paid so much. It appears the Queen, along with her previous government, love Sir Terry too. Inexplicably, the knighthood they gave him in 2002 was for ‘services to food retailing’, so I hope government ministers collect Tesco Air-miles to reduce pressure on the public purse when flying first class. It’s an even bet our current coalition will offer him a cushy job with yet more fat bonuses after he retires. I don’t blame Sir Terry for low milk prices, organic or otherwise, or for the demise in dairy farming, or the world price of grain, or the high price of cocoa, or the poor state of our food culture. Not all on his own, anyway. In an economy where the only yardstick is profit generated through fair or foul means, sustainability will remain dead in the water. Which is why we’ve launched a three-star Great Taste Awards gold artisan chocolate bar for charity, not for profit (see page 32), and why I’ll spend my time at the London Speciality & Fine Food Fair talking with people who make and sell proper food. None of them earns £5m, nor have they been knighted. But they’re all doing a darn sight more for British food than you-know-who.

Bob Farrand

❝The free market economy has become sustainability’s deadliest enemy❞

Bob Farrand is publisher of Fine Food Digest and national director of the Guild of Fine Food

What they’re saying ❝Outsourcing isn’t welcome these days, whether it’s call centres or chocolates. People want something they can touch and feel. Rather than seeing chocolate in fantastic packaging they want to see the whites of your eyes while you’re making it.❞ Artisan chocolate-maker Marc Demarquette – p39

fine food news

England’s Regional Food Groups are rebranding to create a stronger national identity p4

deli of the month: arcadia

‘It was invest or die,’ say the new-generation owners of one of Belfast’s longest established family stores p13

focus on: chocolate

Interest in fine chocolates is on the rise, especially in London, but some producers say authenticity is at risk as more suppliers jump on the bandwagon p29

product updates: savoury snacks p37 bottled beers p41 case studies: packaging & branding p47 preview: speciality & fine food fair p51 regulars:

news deli of the month deli chef cheesewire shelf talk

4 13 19 21 65

EDITORIAL Editor: Mick Whitworth News editor: Patrick McGuigan Art director: Mark Windsor Editorial production: Richard Charnley, John Loasby Contributors: Gail Hunt, Graham Holter, Anne Bruce ADVERTISING Sales manager: Sally Coley Advertisement sales: Becky Stacey Circulation manager: Tortie Farrand Publisher & managing director: Bob Farrand Associate publisher & director: John Farrand THE GUILD OF FINE FOOD Membership secretary & director: Linda Farrand Administrators: Charlie Westcar, Julie Coates Accounts: Stephen Guppy, Denise Ballance

t: 01963 824464 Fax: 01963 824651 e: w: Published by: Great Taste Publications Ltd and The Guild of Fine Food Ltd. Fine Food Digest is published 10 times a year and is available on subscription for £40pa inclusive of post and packing. Printed by: Advent Colour, Hants © Great Taste Publications Ltd and The Guild of Fine Food Ltd 2010. Reproduction of whole or part of this magazine without the publisher’s prior permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed in articles and advertisements are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations. Vol.11 Issue 1 · January-February 2010


fine food news Food groups say funding cuts have left England as the UK’s poor relation

Cash-strapped RFGs rebrand under the flag of St George By PATRICK McGUIGAN

Regional Food Groups (RFGs) are fighting to raise the profile of English food as a national brand, saying recent funding cuts have put the country at a disadvantage compared with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As its first move, the Regional Food Group Alliance, which is made up of the country’s eight RFGs, has been renamed the English Food & Drink Alliance. It is also sponsoring the Best English Speciality at the 2010 Great Taste Awards and hopes to promote producers under the St George’s Cross at next March’s IFE show in London. The moves come at a time when England’s RFGs have seen public funding stopped completely or cut back. “There’s a huge opportunity to get the message across to Defra and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills that English food and drink needs more support,” said Alliance chair Jonathan Knight. “Our friends in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland appreciate the value of the industry, employment and export opportunities the food sector creates. We’ve got to get decision-makers to wake up that England needs similar support”. Henriette Reinders, managing director of South East Food Group Partnership, added: “We’re working to stop the English flag going under, but it’s difficult financially.


There’s a danger the England food brand could fall behind the others if something isn’t done.” The strength of Scottish food promotion was demonstrated last month when Scotland Food & Drink block-booked space for its members at the new Flavours Food Court at Old Spitalfields market in London. “It’s much easier for groups in Wales and Scotland to buy space and then rent it on to producers than for us, because we just don’t have the money,” said Reinders. “When you see the Scottish and Welsh stands at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair you can see they have bigger budgets. At [April’s] European Seafood Exposition in Brussels, England looked like the poor relation. There were big stands for Scotland and Ireland, but England was nowhere to be seen.” Simon Waring, UK managing director of food export consultancy Green Seed Group and a former director of export agency Food From Britain (FFB), says an English food brand has been missing from the international stage since FFB closed last year. “With devolution, Scotland, Wales and NI all put a co-ordinated focus behind their own national brands, but there’s never been an equivalent English brand. It’s been much more regional, but that probably creates less impact than if it was done on a national scale.”


ALLIANCE The Alliance hopes English producers will soon be exhibiting under the St George’s flag

Simon Waring: English brand has gone missing

How the home nations compare England As reported last month, food groups Heart of England Fine Foods, Deliciouslyorkshire and Food North West could all be hit by significant budget cuts this year and next as the Regional Development Agencies look to make average savings of 20% before they are wound up permanently. England’s other RFGs have already seen their core funding stopped or cut dramatically. Scotland The Scottish government has ambitious targets to increase food and drink sales from around £7.5bn to £12.5bn by 2017. This year it has provided £500,000 extra funding for Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, 4

September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8

which takes place from 2010-11. Government-backed organisation Scotland Food & Drink has also recently secured £300,000 of extra funding for marketing, improving supply chains and supporting food events. Additional funding of £25,000 has been awarded to events in the Highlands, such as October’s World Porridge Making Championship. Wales The Welsh Assembly Government is consulting on a proposed food strategy for the next decade, with local food an important cornerstone. It has also announced a £1.1m grant for a Centre for Food Excellence in the Conwy Valley, which would showcase Welsh food, and has

dedicated £75,000 to helping more Welsh products gain protection under the EU’s Protected Food Names scheme. Northern Ireland The Northern Irish government announced a new strategy for the local food industry in June. The new Focus on Food strategy is a partnership between the Department of Employment and Learning, Invest Northern Ireland and the agri-food industry. Minister Arlene Foster said: “The key objective of the new strategy is to establish Northern Ireland as one of the most sustainable and successful food producing regions in Europe.”

A few spare lettuces from the allotment – or a commercial crop?

Local produce comes with health warning for shop owners It seems a great way for retailers to forge community links and strengthen their local food credentials. But shops buying surplus produce from their customers’ allotments should doublecheck the practice won’t lead shoppers into breaking the rules governing commercial activity on council land. That’s the advice of the National Society of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners (NSALG), which told FFD that while it is perfectly legal for allotment holders to sell some surplus produce from their plots, they are not allowed to use the land for commercial growing. More retailers are looking to cut food miles and improve community ties by taking fruit and veg grown in local gardens and allotments. But last month, the Guild of Fine Food received an anonymous complaint that two top delis were selling allotment produce ‘illegally’. The caller threatened to tip off the relevant council departments. A spokesman for the NSALG told FFD: “If someone is growing different types of fruit and veg and wants to sell anything they have left over after their own consumption, that’s fine. But if someone was just growing cabbages to sell commercially that would be against the rules.” Halsey’s Deli in Hitchen, Herts, takes produce from several allotment growers, but rather than paying in cash gives the equivalent in credit at the store. “One customer built up enough credit to pay for a turkey, ham and cheeseboard for Christmas,” said owner Damian Caldwell. “We get fantastic veg with zero food miles by sourcing from allotments. Customers love it. I would highly recommend other delis do it.”

inbrief shopfitting ● The Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association will run a two-day course on ensuring microbiological safety for speciality cheeses from September 29-30. For details,email:

GRAZING A TRAIL: Walkers can expect to be treated like royalty on a five-mile food trek this month on one of Scotland’s most beautiful estates. Based on an original Italian concept called the Mangalonga, the Tanalonga is a five-mile hike on the Glen Tanar estate, with regular food stops showcasing the producers and retailers of Royal Deeside and The Cairngorms. Finzean Farm Shop and the Balmoral Estate are some of those taking part in the walk, which is one of a series of events designed to boost tourism under the Royal Deeside Larder initiative.

Butter giant Lurpak has launched an online Good Food Finder to promote smaller stores. Greengrocers, bakers, butchers, delis and market stall owners can all sign up. goodfoodfinder

Waitrose stamps its name on Duchy Originals brand Fine food retailers look set to abandon Duchy Originals for good after the organic brand was relaunched this month as Duchy Originals from Waitrose. The multiple signed a deal with Duchy Originals last year, giving Waitrose the exclusive rights to manufacture, distribute and sell Duchy Originals products. It launched 120 rebranded products this month and plans to increase the range to over 400 products, including fresh meat, egg, cereals and bread. These will not be made available to other supermarkets, but Waitrose said it would continue to supply independents. However, deli owners told FFD they would not stock Waitrose-branded products. “It might be a good move for

Duchy Originals in that they will sell higher volumes, but I don’t think I’d stock the brand once it is plastered with the logo of one of the large multiples,” said Candice Fonseca, owner of Delifonseca in Liverpool. The chain’s expansion into smaller, delistyle shops was already threatening many independents, she said. Duchy Originals: now “Carrying one of their lines simply badged ‘from Waitrose’ wouldn’t sit well on the shelf.” Waitrose MD Mark Price said there would now be two tiers within Waitrose’s organic offer: the premium British organic Duchy Originals from Waitrose range and Waitrose Organic for globally-sourced and mainstream UK organic products.

● UK supermarket shoppers appear to attach little importance to countryof-origin when choosing fresh food, according to research from New Zealand’s University of Otago. Only 5.6% of 251 shoppers interviewed nominated country-of-origin as one of the reasons for choosing an item. Price came first, followed by brand or variety (23.5%).

Want to improve your coffee sales? There are still a few places left on the half-day coffee masterclass being staged in Brighton on September 21 by Union Coffee and the Guild of Fine Food. The session will take place at myhotel Brighton and will cover practical coffee-making skills as well as provenance, single origins and other useful background. Contact Tortie Farrand at the Guild to book a place. 01963 824464 tortie.farrand@

Caterers guilty of hyping ‘homemade’ dishes

Danelle Mccollum/

Pubs, cafés and restaurants regularly ‘over-egg’ their menus by incorrectly using terms such as ‘homemade’, ‘local’ and ‘wild’, a Lancashire Trading Standards investigation has found. Officers found that 32 of 41 randomly selected premises had made deceptive

claims about the food they served. Out of 816 menu claims examined, 127 were either incorrect or could not be proven by the caterer. False claims included a ‘homemade’ tart bought in from a national wholesaler, ‘local’ samphire that was imported from Israel and ‘wild’ mushrooms from farmed sources. Descriptions such as ‘organic’, ‘handpicked’ and ‘fresh’ were also applied without justification. Lancashire County Council officials have advised food outlets to either correct misleading claims or change suppliers to avoid falling foul of the law.

ARTS MARKET: Europe’s largest multi-arts and conference venue, the Barbican Centre in London, opens a foodhall and restaurant this month. The 450 sq ft store, intended to recreate the feel of a bustling street market, features floor-to-ceiling displays of speciality food alongside stalls selling global cuisine to eat in or take away, ranging from Cornish pasties to New Orleans shrimp étouffée (similar to gumbo). An informal foodhall eatery will seat 200, while a new 230-cover restaurant, The Barbican Lounge, is opening upstairs. Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


Letter from Ludlow

news delicatessens

‘Top 5’ deli goes up for sale John and Victoria Pryor are hoping to go out on a high after reaching the Deli of the Year finals

Following patchy reviews on website Tripadvisor, SANDY BOYD calls in Shopper Anonymous to help out We recently took the plunge and put our customer service under scrutiny by employing a company that organises mystery shoppers. The catalyst was a handful of poor comments on the review website Tripadvisor. It confirmed what I already suspected. Our customer service was not as good as it could have been and we weren’t taking enough interest in customers. Sometimes we were serving people really well; other times we were letting them down. So we hired Jonathan Winchester of Shopper Anonymous, who organised a series of visits from his professional mystery shoppers. They visited us three times over three months looking at everything from how easy we were to find, to how clean the toilets

“The whole mystery shopper process has really helped… I reckon it’s put an extra 10% on sales’’ were, to how well staff responded to questions. They gave us detailed reports and, in places, these contained some pretty damning comments about customer service. They also picked up that we were not conveying our message to shoppers as well as we could. We needed to be shouting about the fact our food is sourced from four counties and that 50% of what we sell we make on site. We followed up the reports with a training course run by Jonathan, who did two particularly brilliant things. Firstly, he got all the staff to look at the shop as if they were customers. He got them to pick out things we do well, but also things we don’t do well. We now have a list of improvements as long as your arm. We’ve already changed some of the displays and we’re also getting some artwork made to tell our story better. The second thing he did was an exercise where we each had a sticker on our heads saying PMMFS “Please Make Me Feel Special” and we had to go round the room and do exactly that. The whole process has really helped staff engage with customers and take ownership of the shop. They’ve started behaving in a different manner and the customers are noticing and responding accordingly so you get an upward spiral. People have a spring in their step and I reckon it’s put an extra 10% on sales. We’ve decided to keep on with the monthly mystery shopper visits and we’ll display the reports on the staff notice board. All the staff wear name badges, so there’s no hiding – and that includes me. Interview by PATRICK McGUIGAN


March 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 2


Picnic Fayre, one of five finalists in the national Deli of the Year competition run by Olives Et Al, is up for sale. The north Norfolk store, based at The Old Forge in picturesque Cley-next-the-sea, has been put on the market with a guide price of £795,000 (freehold) by husband and wife team John and Victoria Pryor. John Pryor, a former hotelier who founded Picnic Fayre 27 years ago, told FFD he had decided it was time to slow down after a health scare last winter. His wife has been running the shop on a day-to-day basis for the last 10 years, aided by Jane Goodwin, who has been with the store for more than a decade, and a team of parttime and seasonal staff. The 1,000 sq ft shop, in a characterful brick and flint building, turns over around £500,000 a year ex-VAT. Sales to locals have been bolstered by the growing popularity of north Norfolk among rich-retireds and second-home owners. Around 25% of sales come from the shop’s 160 sq ft wine section, while baked goods – including cakes produced daily on the premises – account for a further 25%.

Picnic Fayre supports a number of local producers, including craft brewery Yetman’s and rare-breed pork pie maker Brays. It makes a feature of fresh produce, including seasonal lines such as locally harvested samphire, and also buys and sells produce from local gardeners. House specialities include lavender bread, baked by HV Graves of Briston using John Pryor’s own lavender marinade recipe, and a Moroccan spice paste, again made to Pryor’s recipe by Essence Foods in Dereham. News of the shop sale emerged last month, soon after Picnic Fayre was named as a contender for the Deli of the Year title alongside Lawson’s Deli (Suffolk), Maldon Deli (Essex), Provender Brown (Perth) and Thyme Out Deli (Didsbury). The overall winner will be named this month. Picnic Fayre is on the market with Strutt & Parker. “Our ideal would be to find someone who’d continue to run the shop in much the same way,” John Pryor told FFD. He now aims to concentrate on his second, less hectic business, Berber Interiors, which imports and sells Moroccan furnishing and gifts.

Spotlight on gluten-free at Gloucestershire store Newly launched Cheltenham deli Lots of Lemons hosted a gluten-free evening last month after being inundated with requests for ‘free-from’

foods since opening. The Bishops Cleeve-based retailer showcased its growing range of glutenfree products through tastings and encouraged customers to swap recipes and cookery ideas at the event. The evening also highlighted gluten-free products at a nearby café and a local fish & chip shop, which runs a gluten-free night once a week. “Our range of gluten-free products has got bigger and bigger since we opened,” said Sarah Lemon, who owns the shop with her husband Brian. “We get new customers coming in every day and asking about gluten-free, so we’ve added products such as Wessex Mill flour, Hale & Hearty oats and G-Free’s Baked to Taste breads and cakes.”

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September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8

news farm shops

Sunny Hill offers a break to North East’s drivers A new farm shop in north Northumberland aims to attract commuters and holidaymakers from the nearby A1 – a road recently slammed as a ‘picnic blackspot’ because of its lack of roadside break areas. Sunny Hill Farm Shop, which opened last month following a £400,000 investment including a £200,000 RDPE (Rural Development Programme for England) grant, is only a few minutes drive from the A1 linking Newcastle and Edinburgh. The stretch recently came second in a poll asking RAC members to identify the worst roads in Britain for places to stop and take a break. “We’ve done a lot of research before opening the shop,” said owner Andrew Young. “Hopefully we’ll draw trade from the A1, but there are also a lot of tourist attractions in the area, such as Bamburgh Castle and Northumberland National Park, so we also aim to attract people staying at holiday cottages and hotels round here. “There’s a gap in the market for a farm shop in this part of the world with the nearest competition 30 miles away.” Sunny Hill Farm is already known for its free-

range eggs, which it supplies throughout the region. The main 150-acre farm is home to over 60,000 hens some of which are housed in an animals’ enclosure as part of a large children’s play area. The site also includes a restaurant and café, while the 3,000 sq ft shop includes a deli and butchers run as joint venture with local company TR Johnson.

Sunny Hill owner Andrew Young with Chrisi Page of One North East, which handles RDPE grant applications in the region

Hinchcliffe’s trades on despite blaze The owner of an award-winning Yorkshire farm shop destroyed by fire in July has started trading again from a cattle box and gazebo. Simon Hirst, owner of Hinchliffe’s Farm Shop and the Old Farmhouse Restaurant near Huddersfield, was left “heartbroken” after the buildings were destroyed by an accidental fire. However, within a month he was back up and running, selling fresh eggs, vegetables bread and jam from the improvised shop at the site and plans to erect a temporary building as he works to bounce back from the disaster. The business is currently applying for planning permission to erect temporary buildings on the car park to house the shop, butchers and

restaurant. It then hopes to build a ‘semipermanent’ structure before finally constructing a bigger permanent shop and restaurant. “The sad thing is we were just about to start refurbishing and extending our farm shop when the fire happened. Realistically it’s going to take at least 12-18 months to get through this,” said Hirst. “I hope we don’t lose too much ground to our competitors. They say people change their butchers as often as they change their bank accounts. Our customers have been very loyal and supportive.” The business was covered by insurance and the fire is believed to have started when a piece of equipment overheated.

BIRTHDAY TREAT: Weeton’s of Harrogate marked its fifth birthday with a surprise for one loyal customer. Ewa Pyrah has shopped at the store since it opened, travelling from Leeds to Harrogate once a fortnight. She was presented with a complimentary basket of local food by managing director Andrew Loftus. Weeton’s sells beef from Loftus’s own ‘Weeton Herd’ as well as 50 regional cheeses and more than 1,000 lines of Yorkshire produce. In five years the deli has sold more than 75,000 bottles of wine, 20,000 giant meringues, 54,000 Big Fred burgers and put half a million transactions through the tills.

If I’d known then what I know now… Richard Haddock, Churston Traditional Farm Shop, Devon Everyone told me when we opened that all our customers would want fresh chilled home-made meals. To put it bluntly, that was bull. We weren’t getting the shelf-life on products and there was so much wastage in the first six months. We learned quickly. In this part of world, people want frozen readymeals, so we invested in a blast chiller and two freezers. It was a lot to shell out, but we had put aside some money in what I call the rainy day fund. People prefer frozen because it means they’ve always got something at home they can cook up. With the recession, a lot of people were working late and were afraid to leave their jobs early. We were shut by the time they were going home and couldn’t pick up our fresh meals. They preferred to stock up at the weekend with frozen ones instead. It’s been a huge learning curve for a big, ugly, grumpy farmer like me. In the first year we had all the reps pestering us, telling us to order more than we needed. We had 500 tins of biscuits left over after our first Christmas, but we were clever.

“The second year, we didn’t let the reps control us. We told them what we wanted.” We took all the biscuits from the tin and sold them at a discount. We kept the tins until the following year and then filled them with our own homemade biscuits! It helped us keep our margins. The second year, we didn’t let the reps control us. We took charge and told them exactly what we wanted. It’s a lot easier when you’ve been in business a year and can look at last year’s sales figures. We also had problems with our deli counter, which wouldn’t hold its temperature. We paid through the nose for a new counter but we’ve seen sales almost double. Products are better displayed and cream cakes now keep for five days instead of one. We didn’t advertise when the shop opened because I wanted to build a loyal local trade by word of mouth. We had some arguments, but by saving money on marketing we had some in reserve to buy the freezers. My mobile is always on and I’m happy to talk with journalists. You have to be prepared to put yourself out, but we’ve had quite a bit of exposure in the press. We’ve done things for charity and have got involved in community events, which helps to raise our profile. All in all, I love retailing. As a farmer, major retail buyers never say ‘thank you’ to you. They only moan about the price. So it brings a lump to my throat to get customers complimenting the shop and our food. Interview by PATRICK McGUIGAN Vol.11 Issue 1 · January-February 2010



September 2010 路 Vol.11 Issue 8

fine food news


deli chains

Latest Edinburgh outlet takes Peckham’s chain to 14 stores Scottish deli chain Peckham’s continues to expand, with a new cookery school in Edinburgh and the opening of its 14th shop. The independent, familyowned business, which took over two stores in Aberdeen last year from the defunct McLeish deli chain, has opened a third outlet in the city at the new shopping and dining destination Union Square. Combining a deli and a 60-seater café, the new shop has been fitted out with a modern interior design, comprising granite worktops, stainless steel fittings and contemporary light fittings. The new look, which has also been rolled out to several other Peckham’s stores, updates the retailer’s traditional dark wood interior. A new cookery school has also been added to the South Clerk Street store in Edinburgh. Peckham’s Cook School is a joint venture between managing director Tony Johnston and chef Clyde Nicoll, who also runs Peckham’s restaurants. “As Tesco and Sainsbury’s increase, we have to innovate ways to compete,” said marketing and communications manager Susie McClue. “Our shops are well-known for their coffee and cake, but people are also looking to sit in, so we have added a café to the new store and included coffee bar areas in others. The cookery school is another way to stand out.”

The Union Square site becomes Peckham’s third outlet in Edinburgh


Second deli for Salt’s in upmarket shopping centre Leeds deli Salt’s will open a second shop in the city this month selling a wide range homemade food as the retailer looks to make full use of its central kitchen. Set up in 2005 by Bruce Salt, the first shop in the Calls area of the city is due to be joined by a

Bruce Salt (left) with wife Caroline and cricketer Darren Gough, who visited the Leeds business in a promotion for Wensleydale cheese

second smaller outlet this month in the upmarket shopping centre The Light. The 250 sq ft shop will stock a wide range of takeaway lunch products such as cakes, quiches, tarts, salads and savouries, all of which are made at the company’s 1,300 sq ft central kitchen, which opened in 2008. The store will also stock a small range of traditional deli products such as cheese and charcuterie. “The big sandwich chains and supermarkets will never be able to do the kind of fresh homemade food that we do, whether it’s a Spanish tortilla or a tarte au citron made from scratch that morning. It gives us a really important point of difference,” said Salt. “The lunch trade will be a big focus for us in The Light because there are lots of offices in the area, but we will also hopefully attract people who are staying at the nearby Radisson Hotel, who want to buy a gift to take home to friends and family.” He added that he may look to open a third shop in the future. “After opening the central kitchen, it makes sense for us to open a second and possibly a third store to make full use of its capacity and to reduce overheads.”

better retailing GORDON LEATHERDALE Windows displays are the face you present to passers-by, the first impression you make with customers and a useful way to draw attention away from your competitors. You can tell a lot about a shop from its window display, especially a food shop, because there’s so much you can do to impress potential customers and so much fun to be had given the sheer number of product types and the seasons. Many retailers overlook the potential of their windows to grab the attention of potential customers. Think of them as three-dimensional ‘A’ boards. Before you begin to dazzle your audience, consider these tips: • Don’t overdo it. Less can be more; a cluttered window loses appeal and featured items can get lost. • Make merchandise the focal point. Don’t let your window-dressing overshadow your products. • Accentuate products with good lighting. The goal is to highlight the key products within the overall display with lighting. • Stack products or use a pyramid. Place items in the window at varying heights and depths to catch shoppers' attention.

“Stock up on featured products. Don’t draw customers in to buy goods you don’t have enough of.’’ • Have fun with mannequins. If you are using mannequins, create interesting poses, and make sure that each one is well lit and easily visible to customers passing by. • Be creative. Let your imagination run free and draw customers into your shop with innovative, attractive, and compelling displays. • Remember your theme. Keep your window theme in mind and decorate according to that theme. • Draw in drivers. If your potential customers drive rather than walk, make your display larger and use more colour to draw their attention. • Use backdrops. Backdrops are useful tools to create positive and forceful displays, and to separate the window from the shop. • Stock up on featured products. Don’t draw customers in to buy merchandise that you don’t have enough of. You can spend money to have someone do your windows for you but you should be able to handle the job yourself. If you have an exceptionally creative member of staff, you might consider making this person the de facto window designer. Go outside often to get an idea of how the display looks from the customers’ perspective. Does it grab your attention? Is your theme clear? Keep tinkering until you have the look that you want, and remember to change your window displays often to keep them fresh, exciting and relevant. Vol.7 Issue 1 · January 2006



September 2010 路 Vol.11 Issue 8

deli of the month


Cultural ambassadors

After re-mortgaging to give their family firm a makeover, the owners of Belfast’s Arcadia aim to create a distinctive lifestyle store in a city that has still to develop a real deli culture


ark Brown and wife Laura GrahamBrown (above left) must have felt the world was against them when they took over their family deli three years ago. The pair re-mortgaged their home to raise funds to totally refurbish Arcadia, the shop in Belfast’s Lisburn Road that Mark’s family has run for more than 75 years. But by the time the work was complete, the country was in deep recession, Belfast City Council was threatening a 50% hike in business rates, and the couple’s landlord wanted to do the same with their the £20,000-a-year rent. “We were in dispute over that for 18 months, which was a real hindrance,” says Mark. “We’d done the refurbishment, we’d rewired and replumbed the entire shop, even retiled the floor – and then he wanted to put our rent up by 50%.” At one point the pair began thinking they’d be better off behind the deli counter in Tesco. But after a long fight they persuaded the landlord to back off, and then the Stormont government put a freeze on

business rates until 2015 to help firms get through the recession. “It had been a headache,” says Laura Graham-Brown, “and this major ambiguity about what we’d be paying stopped us moving forward. Now, we think we have a unique shop and we want to move on and look at new revenue streams.” Laura has a background in marketing and is applying those skills to Arcadia – for example, creating posters to promote hampers as posthoneymoon gifts for newlyweds – while her husband concentrates on front-of-house and fresh food operations. He has been at Arcadia all his working life, but says it was in serious decline before he and Laura staked everything on giving it a new lease of life. Originally a bakery, the shop was taken over by his grandmother, Ellen Brown, just after World War II, becoming a general grocer’s too, and when Mark’s father joined in the 1960s he began adding more cheeses and other deli items. Arcadia kept trading throughout the Troubles, from the 1960s to the late 1990s, and ironically may Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


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deli of the month even have benefited from those turbulent times. Many locals were reluctant to venture into the city centre a couple of miles away, and preferred to shop in the Lisburn Road, which is now considered one of Belfast’s most upmarket areas. “Dad did home deliveries too,” says Mark, “which I think helped shelter him from the economic realities. But by the Eighties and early Nineties you had the big boys like Tesco and Sainsbury moving in. Once that happened the deli went into a bit of a decline.” Laura Graham-Brown puts it more bluntly, saying it was lucky the pair raised the money for their refurbishment just before the credit crunch struck. “It was invest or die.” Three decades of the Troubles undoubtedly left the food sector here playing catch-up, not least because travel was so difficult. Cheap flights to Europe, which have driven so much change in mainland Britain’s foodie culture, have only been operating from Belfast in the past few years. So when the Browns describe Arcadia as unique, they are not far from the truth. “There’s no deli culture here,” says Laura. “There really isn’t. You’ve got Sawers in town [a deli and provisioners in College Street, run by Kieran Sloan], a couple of farm shops out of town and a few coffee shops with a bit of wire shelving for deli products, but that’s it.” To help create a premium deli image for Arcadia, the couple called in Belfast design consultancy Triplicate. The firm has worked with a number of Irish food brands, as well as branding Belfast’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, Deane’s. But Triplicate was not given a free rein. “The designers were all for us changing the name of the shop,” say Mark. “But we didn’t want to wipe out the past. Eighty years of history is something you can’t buy.” So old photographs of Arcadia are now on display in the shop, and the refreshed logo retains a period feel, although the new interior – the building was completely gutted and refitted – is light, bright and contemporary, with a bespoke painted timber


Bottling Co’s clementine chutney ●O  ’Docherty’s black bacon ●F  ilemiletown Creamery goat’s cheese ●T  he Bay Tree pomegranate dressing ●C  landeboye yoghurts ●G  iven’s Irish roast ham) ●S  uki tea (for younger shoppers) ●B  ell’s tea (for older shoppers) ●M  orrow’s chicken liver paté ●L  orina lemonade ●M  iller Damsel charcoal biscuits ●M  ondovino Spicy Moroccan seed & nut crackers ●S  errano ham (La Rousse Foods)

shelving system and tiled floor. Laura says: “We bought a copy of Jane Peyton’s Fabulous Food Shops and went through it saying ‘we like this’ or ‘we don’t like that’. That gave the designer a good idea of what we wanted.” Despite anxieties about rent and rates, turnover has held up strongly in the new-look store. This year should see sales of around £420,000, and that’s without the benefit of a café offer – there is no space for indoor seating, and the owners feel there are enough coffee shops and sandwich bar ‘delis’ already in Belfast. “I hate the way the word ‘deli’ has been bastardised,” says Mark. “This is not a place to come and eat – it’s much more a place to buy food for dinner parties.” In fact, the shop stocks a mix of true deli products and everyday groceries, in the style of a high-class provisioner. An old 1950s photo shows Mark’s grandparents posing in front of shelves laden with Belfast’s famous Bell’s tea, bottles of HP

SOLE TRADERS Among the biggest gambles taken by the Browns in refitting Arcadia was to install a sizeable fresh fish counter, but the move seems to be paying off. “It was a quite a brave move, but thankfully not one we regret!” says Laura Graham-Brown. The secret has been working closely with supplier Keenan Seafood, a third-generation Belfast business, which supplies fish readyfilleted. “We aim to achieve at least a 50% margin to allow for any wastage, which was a big worry,” says Laura, “but we’ve managed to keep waste to a minimum by ordering little and often. Our supplier is based less than a mile from the shop, so we can get two or three deliveries a day if necessary.” The counter was made to order and cost £3,000. “I’d seen a similar counter at a trade show, made some enquiries and was initially quoted £5,000, so putting effort into sourcing this one paid off. But we hadn’t factored in the cost of an ice-maker, which was another £2,000.” Tips for other retailers include getting the counter plumbed in so it can be washed off directly into underfloor drainage, helping to keep the deli free of unwanted fishy smells. Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


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September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8 PANTONE VERSIONS

deli of the month

Fresh bread is from French Village Bakery. Note the ‘10 Barbecue Ideas’ on the blackboard behind.

Sauce and cartons of Kellogg’s All-Bran. Today’s equivalents are the Sugar Puffs, Ambrosia custard and Epicure canned peaches on the ambient shelves, or the pots of Elmlea and Actimel in the upright chillers. But the shop is dominated by its full-length serveover, which is packed tightly with cheeses, salads, cooked and cured meats, patés and pies. Most cheese is supplied by Rowcliffe and includes the usual suspects from continental Europe, a good selection from England and some of the best-known farmhouse varieties from southern Ireland, plus several cheeses from the North’s Fivemiletown Creamery. Belfast’s consumers are often characterised as block cheddar fans, and Brown says that while that’s changing, he has to strike a balance. “More people are moving to something like a Comté or a Beaufort. But we don’t have a big cheese-eating culture. Often, deli owners look down on flavoured cheeses like Wensleydale & cranberry. But if you’re having six people round for a dinner party here, there will inevitably be someone that doesn’t really like cheese, and with the dessert or additive cheeses they can at least try something.” Supplying pre-packed cheeseboards is one chance to get those who are “a bit intimidated” by the cheese counter to try something new. “We find

we get repeat sales that way, from people who try Manchego or Le Delice de Bourgogne for the first time at Christmas or at a dinner party.” Price is not a huge issue in this well-to-do area, but the Browns say upgrading the shop has enabled them to introduce higher-cost lines that would have flopped before, like macaroons selling at £6.99 for a small box. Mark has even been talking to Co Cork salmon smoker Frank Hederman, whose clients include Selfridges and chef Richard Corrigan. That would have been impossible before, he says. Since the refurb, Laura has been working to develop the range of Arcadia own-brand products, which began with a selection of herbs & spices. Packed in-house, these are providing huge margins compared with bought-in brands. “We were really unhappy with the higgledy-piggledy nature of our herbs and spices,” she says. “They looked a mess. Now we use a really good labelling system where you buy the labels and just put them through a laser printer. We designed a label that would work across the range, and now we do tapenades and pestos too, and goosefat at Christmas.” Despite remaining edgy about the economic outlook – and the future for Lisburn Road, where a number of independents have closed since the recession – the Browns are giving the business their best shot. With the bosses of some of Belfast’s biggest firms living nearby, they aim to step up their corporate hamper business this year, perhaps even opening a ‘pop-up’ hamper shop for a couple of months to give them more space, and are looking for other ways to raise the store’s profile, such as more product tastings. “Petty, Wood’s Northern Ireland rep has given us a lot of help,” says Mark. “We sold 16 or 17 cases of their Lorina French lemonade one Saturday. I always thought tastings would cost a fortune, but actually, my only input is the space and time. The suppliers do the rest and once you’ve gone down that route more of them come on board.” Earlier this year, in conjunction with fish supplier Keenan’s and Belfast chef Alan Higginson, they ran a seafood barbecue outside the store, showcasing BBQ ideas with prawns, squid and seabass. “Events like that really work for us,” says Laura, “because we’re trying to build a real ‘lifestyle’ feel around the shop.” Northern Ireland has a dearth of farmhouse cheese-makers, so most of the Irish varieties on Arcadia’s counter are from the South. Fivemiletown Creamery – a farmers’ co-op makes both artisan and mainstream cheeses – is one exception in the North, with products including its Irish brie and Ballyblue represented in Arcadia’s chiller.

Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


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putting deli ingredients to work Head chef Ross Wills is a big fan of nose-totail eating, which is applied on the café menus and across the food hall offering


Ross Wills Source Food Hall & Café, Bristol


he first year of any new business is always a make or break period, but for Source Food Hall & Café in Bristol, reaching its first anniversary in July was extra special. The business, which is located in a Grade 2 listed building on the edge of St Nicholas Market, was set up last year after a previous incarnation, a food hall and café called Taste, had gone into administration just 10 months after opening. The recession and cashflow problems had taken their toll. In what was effectively a management buyout, three members of the Taste team – Joe Wheatcroft, Liz Carrad and Ross Wills along with silent partner Anthony Salaman – decided to take on the business and rename it Source. That, a year later, the shop has already outlasted its predecessor is a good sign. “We were passionate about what the business was trying to achieve and didn’t want to lose it to someone who didn’t have our drive or commitment, so we decided to take it over ourselves,” says head chef Ross Wills. “Between the three of us we have a really good knowledge of the food business.” Their CVs make impressive reading. Wills was head chef at muchloved Bristol restaurant Riverstation for nine years and Carrad has been a pastry chef for nearly 20 years at places such as Fresh & Wild and The Better Food Company. Wheatcroft, meanwhile, has managed stores such

Lamb kidneys on toast with roast tomatoes Ingredients 4 lamb kidneys (cut lengthways and sinew removed) 2 vine tomatoes 1 clove of garlic, crushed 100g flat leaf parsley, chopped Salt and pepper

as Southville Deli and Radford Mill Farm Shop. Rather than make wholesale changes, the trio have tinkered with the business, changing the name, securing better prices by going directly to farmers and monitoring margins in the café, says Wills. The 39-cover eatery remains a key component of the business, showcasing the fresh seasonal ingredients that are also sold on the butchery, fish and deli counters. Platters of the shop’s Italian charcuterie, imported directly from Tuscan supplier Falorni, and regional cheeses, such as Montgomery’s cheddar, Harbourne Blue and Cornish Yarg, are served with homemade bread and chutneys. These are complemented by more substantial mains that make the most of the shop’s fresh meat, fish and produce. To celebrate its first birthday, the café served a menu designed to highlight some of its most popular Serves 1

Method Cut the tomatoes in half and season with salt and pepper. Place on an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with crushed garlic and olive oil and cook in pre-heated oven at 150ºC for 10 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat a frying pan and

add some olive oil and butter. Season the lamb kidneys with salt and pepper and fry for 4-5 minutes or until firm to touch. Turn off the heat add the chopped parsley to the kidneys. Toast a slice of bread from a white bloomer and top with the lamb kidneys and the tomatoes. Serve with rocket salad.

dishes and demonstrate the breadth of its cooking. Friday’s menu featured crab with Russian salad or roast sirloin with fondant potatoes & Somerset candied beetroots, while on Saturday, pig’s head salad with pearl barley competed with turbot with Champagne sauce & English shrimp. “Customers can come here and have something special like a dozen oysters or just a bacon sandwich. It doesn’t matter to us as long as it’s in season and fresh,” says Wills. “I’m also a big fan of nose-to-tail eating so I do a lot of dishes with offal and less well-known cuts. For example, at the moment we have warm chicken liver & chorizo salad and skirt steak with fondant potatoes. We do a takeaway version of the pig’s head, turning it into a terrine to sell in the food hall so people can take it home and recreate our pig’s head salad.” Other cross-selling tactics include recipe cards explaining how to make certain dishes on the menu, while the food hall runs promotions on key ingredients. A whole Gloucester Old Spot pig is bought in once a week, with the butchery taking cuts such as pork chops and loin, while the kitchen incorporates less popular parts of the animal into specials and products such as sausage rolls and pork pies. These are sold back on the deli. “The previous owner bought a lot of ingredients through wholesale. When we took over we looked closely at the margins in the café. Going direct to farmers and the abattoir really helps,” says Wills. “Each dish is costed so we make a gross profit of around 70%. It’s a tough market with lots of chain pubs doing unbelievably cheap meal deals, so we have to be strict.” Supermarkets also provide stiff competition at lunchtime, but Wills says Source’s policy of genuine local and seasonal sourcing pays off. “You can get a sandwich at Tesco for £1.50. They might say they’re using British ingredients, but was the meat just packed in Britain or was it actually farmed here? Supermarkets are clever with their use of language and shoppers get confused. We’re up front. We put a newsletter out every month telling customers where we get our ingredients, what’s in season and what’s good at the moment. If something’s not at its best quality we won’t buy it.”

Recognised as the cornerstone of European cuisine! Deli chef is sponsored by Le Gruyère AOC

Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


AOC, the sign of special products... A traditional cheese

The cheese of western Switzerland, with a delicate, distinguished flavour. Made since at least 1115 AD in and around the small town of Gruyères, today it is still produced by village cheese dairies in western Switzerland according to the traditional recipe. Le Gruyère AOC owes its characteristic delicacy and flavour to the top quality raw milk produced by cows fed on grass in the summer and hay in winter, coupled with the skill of the mastercheesemakers. No less than 400 litres of fresh milk are needed to produce a single wheel weighing around 35kg. During the slow maturation process, which takes several months in special cheese cellars, the wheels are turned regularly and rubbed down with saltywater. The maturing process lasts between five and 18 months.

Each cheese is systematically identified by the number of the mould and code of the cheese dairy. The day and month of production are also noted on the wheel. These black markings are made with casein, the cheese protein. No artificial additives are involved here either.

Le Gruyère AOC takes pride of place on any cheese platter. It makes for a delicious desert and can be used in tasty warm dishes. What’s more, no real fondue would be complete without genuine Gruyère AOC.

From this time on, the name ‘Gruyère AOC’ and the code of the production facility appears on the heel of each wheel of Gruyère AOC as an effective way of preventing fakes and guaranteeing authenticity. This technique employs branding irons, which give an indentation in the wheel. It is this marking that makes it possible to identify and trace each individual cheese.

The humidity and rind washing process develops the characteristic appearance of the cheese and assists in bringing the cheese into full maturity. This is what gives Le Gruyère AOC its famous, distinct flavour. It’s no great surprise that this authentic gift of nature is appreciated by cheeselovers throughout the world.


September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8

Switzerland. Naturally.

Cheeses from Switzerland.

cheese wire

They’re breeding like… bries By PATRICK McGUIGAN

A new player has joined the increasingly crowded British brie market, with newly launched Barncliffe Brie already gaining listings with Harrogate farm shop Fodder and wholesaler Michael Lee. Made by start-up producer Yorkshire Fine Cheese, near Huddersfield, the pasteurised brie is hand-made by owner Danny Lockwood. He matures the 200g and 1kg cheeses for four weeks, with the product reaching its peak at around eight weeks. The company uses milk from local MeuseRhine-Issel cows, which has a high Kappa Casein-B protein content. This helps coagulation in the cheese-making process. “We launched the company a few months ago because we saw a gap in the market for a Yorkshire Brie,” said Lockwood. “We invested around £40,000 in fitting out the dairy with a vat and maturing room, and have already seen a lot of interest.” In addition to the many French bries on the market, UK producers have also started making cheese in the same style. Earlier this

Yorkshire Fine Cheese invested £40k in its dairy before launching Barncliffe Brie

year, Shepherds Purse launched Bells Bluemin White, which has a blue rind, while Fivemiletown Creamery in Northern Ireland won gold at the Nantwich show with Ballyoak Smoked Brie. Cornish Country Larder and Somerset-based Lubborn Cheese also produce a brie-style soft cows’ milk cheese. 01484 607 257

Homewood hopes for growth in South West Homewood Cheese will increase production of its sheep’s milk cheeses next year after investing in a new 400-litre vat. The company currently produces just 50kg of cheese a week at a facility near Shepton Mallet, supplying a handful of local retailers and its own farm shop stalls. The new extra capacity will help the company reach more customers in the region from Spring next year, when ewe’s milk is in season once again. “Our only national coverage is through Abel & Cole, which sells our fresh curd cheese in its

box scheme,” said Angela Morris, who runs the business with partner Tim Homewood. “We’re not looking to grow too big, but it would be good if we could supply more retailers in places like Bath, as well as Bristol.” The company makes three types of unpasteurised cheese: a fresh curd cheese, a washed curd cheese called Old Demdike and feta-style called Tim’s Pickled Ewes’ Cheese. Tim Homewood previously worked at Bath Soft Cheese and the Whitelake Cheese Company. 01761 241413

Norbury Blue finds tours are a nice little earner

Norbury Blue collects £20 for every visitor to its dairy

Surrey cheese-maker Norbury Blue is working with Denbies vineyard, its near-neighour, to offer members of the public tours of the dairy and a first-hand experience of the cheese-making process. The company recently welcomed 10 visitors to its premises as part of a day-long event, which also included a tour of the vineyard and winery, and lunch. “We get everyone in hairnets and overalls and let them come into the dairy to watch us cutting the curds and loading the moulds.” says Michaela Edge, who set up the cheese company at Norbury Park Farm near Dorking eight years ago. “We also take a jug of curds so people can feel the texture for themselves, and we end with a tasting session.” Denbies charges visitors £85 for the whole day, of which Norbury earn around £20 per person. “We would be making the cheese anyway so it’s a nice little extra and its also great PR,” said Edge. “It’s something other cheese-makers could easily do, teaming up with other food producers or just running tours themselves.”

le grand fromage BOB FARRAND My annual trek to Exeter to judge for Taste of the West is enormous fun because there’s a wider selection than at conventional cheese competitions. This year was more appetizing still as it was my first chance to judge alongside young Mr Farrand, son and co-director at the Guild. I love new experiences. Would our tastes agree or would a clash with his fresher, younger palate cause a cheesey domestic? We tackled cheddars first and found harmony with each other, if not with the cheese. Some labelled ‘vintage’ were imposters – young, soft and lacking subtlety. A farmhouse mature and extra mature pleased, but oddly, the youngster delivered richer, more intense flavours than its older brother. I was surprised by one I know well – an18month-old modern-style creamery cheddar that normally offers Marmite notes and plenty of crunch. It was soft, moist and less intense than usual. Maybe as I grow older, cheese, like policemen, get younger. Cornish Yarg was clean and pleasing and deserved gold but I told the boy I prefer Yarg after it softens to yield more pronounced vegetal hints from the nettles. He hardly bothered to comment. For years, I’ve wittered on that British cheesemakers shouldn’t call white mould cheeses ‘brie’ or ‘camembert’ – it invites unfavourable comparison with the French. Sharpham call theirs Elmhirst, Rustic

“Would our tastes agree or would a clash with his fresher, younger, palate cause a cheesey domestic?” or just Sharpham, so there’s no inclination to think of people wearing berets. The Sharpham cheeses were good – far better than I recall, although I rarely eat them. The boy pointed out I should be trying them more often. Before tasting a rinded blue, I enlightened him on how to judge quality from the colour and texture of the rind – a skill granted me by veteran cheese technologist Eurwen Richards 25 years back. This one showed signs of immaturity on what is generally an excellent soft blue. On tasting, it clearly needed a further three weeks to reach its rich, unctuous, creamiest best. The boy was impressed. We tackled a selection from Cranborne Chase including King’s Favourite, Windwhistle, Win Green and Gold Hill. The boy opened up: he lives down the road from the dairy and knows stories about an affineur who matures their white mould and washed rind cheeses to perfection in the French style. Our young Scottish steward was visibly impressed. The boy was smug but spot on – very good cheeses that made awarding gold easy. By late afternoon we’d re-tasted all the golds – some eight or nine – to decide best in class. This certainly fostered a family division between an old man’s fancies and the younger blood’s fresh palate. Can’t tell you who won because that’s announced in November, but at least we’re still talking. • FFD publisher Bob Farrand is chairman of the UK Cheese Guild Vol.7 Issue 1 · January 2006


cheesewire By MICK WHITWORTH

Norfolk cheese-maker Catherine Temple is not in the best of moods when FFD arrives to hear about her latest cheese experiments. The anaerobic digester that provides green energy for the family farm and dairy has broken down, she’s got a stack of dissertations to mark (her day-job is lecturing in pharmacy at the University of East Anglia) and to cap it all, the local EHO is demanding a recall of some of her cheeses after a sample of milk failed its regular bug test. It’s the second time in recent history Temple has had EHO trouble, and she’s not amused. Last year, he closed the dairy down for a week over another milk scare. It eventually turned out the milk sample was someone else’s. Dr Temple is steaming angry, and the EHO is on his way to meet her, along with a colleague. She spends most of the two hours we’ve allowed for FFD’s visit shut in the farm office with the two health officers, at the end of which common sense prevails and the threats of both product recall and dairy closure are withdrawn. Apparently EHO Number 2 persuaded his colleague he was being over-zealous – not least, says Temple, since the family farm at Wighton, near the north Norfolk coast, ranks fourth nationally for clean milk with the national milk recording service. What’s more, the milk sample, which should have been tested within 24 hours, had spent twice that in transit between various labs. No wonder the EHO thought her pasteuriser wasn’t working properly. Catherine Temple is the best-known among Norfolk’s small handful of cheese-makers. She and her team produce a range of styles, including Great Walsingham cheddar, Melton mozzarella, the sweet, Swiss-style Wells Alpine, and the best-selling, creamy Binham Blue, using around 1,700 litres of cows’ milk a day, five days a week. Their cheeses have been widely available in East Anglia but now have the potential for national distribution too through Preston-based wholesaler Carron Lodge. Temple started experimenting with cheese at the end of the 1990s, when she and husband

Catherine Temple with her Wells Alpine and (below left) colleague Lorraine making washed-rind cheese

Between EHO visits and machinery breakdowns, Norfolk’s Catherine Temple is trying her hand at washed-rind cheeses

It’s taleggio next for the experimental Mrs Temple Stephen returned to Copys Green Farm after a stint in Africa. With encouragement from the Specialist Cheesemakers Association and the Norwich-based Women’s Enterprise Education and Training Unit (WEETU), she began to make curd cheese and mozzarella. She and the team continue to experiment “to keep ourselves interested”, generally finding a local market for anything they come up with. And now, encouraged by enquiries from the hotel trade, they are trialling a taleggio-style, washed rind cheese. Earlier this year, Temple went on a rind-washed cheese course at the School of Artisan Food in Nottinghamshire, run by Ivan Larcher, the French cheese consultant who has been working with a number of British artisan producers. He has since visited Copys Green Farm and made taleggio- and epoisses-style cheeses with them, as well as suggesting

ways to extend the shelflife of their existing mouldripened cheeses. But Temple says she’s still awaiting a formal report from him, and meanwhile the team is cracking on with their own experiments. The taleggio style is a fairly rapid make, incorporating Brevibacterium linens cultures to create the orange rind. Filled into moulds and turned frequently by hand until the curds form a solid mass, the cheeses are drained overnight, then removed from the moulds and brine-washed for a week. About four weeks later, when the orange rind has formed, they’re ready to go out as young cheese. “We want to make a cheese with a skin like a peach and a lovely elastic, gooey middle,” says Temple. But even before they’re perfected, her experimental cheeses will no doubt be finding an eager local market. 01328 820224

Divine inspiration for Bristol cheese lovers Trethowan’s Dairy, which has a shop in Bristol and makes cheese at Gorwydd Farm in Ceredigion, has set up a new office in a Bristol church where it is also able to conduct tastings. Last month saw the company host a cheese, bread and beer evening among the choir stalls of St Thomas the Martyr, a redundant church protected by The Churches Conservation Trust. “We teamed up with the Bristol Beer Factory and Mark’s Bread for the event where we tasted our Gorwydd Caerphilly and our new Gorwydd washed rind,” said Jess Trethowan. “It’s such an amazing, atmospheric space in which to be able to 22

September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8

do this kind of thing. We run tastings once a month and run regular classes as part of our Cheese School so we’re delighted that we’ve got such an inspiring place to host them.” St Thomas the Martyr retains a 15th century tower, while the rest of the building was rebuilt in the 18th century, and is still configured as a church although it no longer has a congregation. Trethowan’s new Gorwydd Washed Rind is brinewashed for around six weeks and is unpasteurised. Only a small quantity is currently made for the company’s shop in St Nicholas Market.

St Thomas the Martyr: an ‘atmospheric space’ for cheese-tasting events

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Talking shop with Amnon Paldi Franchising and in-store concessions are among the options being considered by the owners of Premier Cheese to turn their La Cave à Fromage stores into a national chain

CAVE MEN: Co-owner Amnon Paldi (second from right) with staff at the new Brighton store By PATRICK McGUIGAN

It’s not difficult to spot La Cave à Fromage’s new shop on Brighton’s busy Western Road. Just look for the people gathering on the pavement outside to gawp at the piles of mainly French and British farmhouse cheeses in the window. The huge display, showcasing a large proportion of the shop’s 200-plus varieties, is an essential element of the retail concept, explains Amnon Paldi, who owns the company with business partner and fellow cheese enthusiast Eric Charriaux. “It’s amazing to watch people as they walk past. They immediately stop, look in and then look up to see what we are called. Then they usually take out their phones and start taking photos and calling their friends.” The big windows give the shop a friendly inclusive feel, which helps draw people through the door. Inside, a spacious sales area allows the welcoming staff to mingle with the customers, rather than being cut off behind counters, while payment is taken through handheld devices. At the back of the shop is an informal café area where people can sit down to a plate of six cheeses with bread from Boulangerie de Paris and a glass of wine for £14.50. An excellent range of charcuterie is also available. Brighton is La Cave’s second outlet and follows the same model as the flagship store in London’s Kensington, which opened in 2007. Further branches are planned in the next five years with potential for up to 20 stores across England and Wales, says Paldi. The target may sound ambitious, but the ace up Paldi’s sleeve is that La Cave is part of wholesaler Premier Cheese, which has seven depots around 24

September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8

the country and a fleet of 16 vans making regular deliveries to some of Britain’s best known restaurants. “We could have a shop in York, Cardiff or Plymouth because we’re supplying those parts of the world already,” says Paldi. “Because of the wholesale business we can tweak stock in the shop on any given day. If something doesn’t move, we can sell it elsewhere. The shops can also choose from over 400 cheeses and play around with what works for them and their location.” Exactly how La Cave à Fromage is rolled out has not yet been fully decided. Paldi says that he has had several enquiries from people about franchising, while opening branded concessions in other retail outlets is also a possibility. Premier Cheese was set up in 1999 by Paldi and Charriaux and has grown steadily so that today it supplies 600 restaurants and gastropubs from Cornwall to Newcastle and has a turnover of £5m.

With customers such as Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, the Fat Duck and Le Gavroche on its books, the company operates at the top-end of the market supplying artisan and farmhouse cheeses bought directly from small producers. Deliveries of Continental cheese are consolidated in Milan, Paris and Barcelona, while the company’s own truck collects from many producers in the UK. Close relationships have been forged over the years with cheese-makers, so much so that many producers are willing to make special batches using animal rennet for Premier, even though their normal production runs would be with vegetarian rennet. “We prefer animal to vegetarian rennet,” says Paldi. “Some people don’t appreciate that some vegetarian rennet is made with GM mushrooms, but it’s also that we think it has a slightly bitter flavour and the cheese matures differently. You get better flavours and higher yields when you use animal rennet.” Working closely with cheesemakers is also key to the company’s plan to launch its own range of cheeses by the end of this year. Made by mainly British producers to Premier’s specifications, these will be matured in a new maturing area at the main 6,000 sq ft depot in Bicester. Construction has already started on the 400 sq ft maturing room, which will be split into four sections with different humidity and temperature levels. This will be used to produce a range of 6-12 cheeses with varying maturities and flavour profiles. The company already does something similar with Cerney goat’s cheese – selling it as a fresh cheese, but also offering a more intense version that it has matured for three weeks. Premier also soaks Colston Bassett in port to create its own port Stilton. “We will start by selecting the producers we want to work with. We will then talk to them about recipes, shapes and maturing times to come up with our own unique products,” say Paldi. “Cheese producers don’t always have the expertise when it comes to maturing. They also don’t often have the space or the cash flow, so it makes sense for us to do it for certain cheeses. We are trying to take what can be done with cheese to a different level.” With around 200 varieties, the Brighton shop stocks only half of the full range available through fine-dining supplier Premier Cheese




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Talking Cheese...

Have we finally found a way to knock Cambozola off its perch? STEVE SMITH goes soft on blues The famous cheese from Champignon in Germany has not only remained the market leader in blue bries for almost 40 years, it has sold more than all its competitors put together and then tenfold. Apparently Cambozola was not the original and Bergarder certainly believe their Bavaria Blu pre dated it by some years. Perhaps it was the ingenious brand name (a combination of camembert and gorgonzola) or its very mild taste and light texture which led us to the conclusion we should offer Cambozola and drop Bavaria Blu many years ago. Some may recall, we Brits tried to jump on to the bandwagon back in the late 1980’s with the short-lived Lymeswold (even my spell check didn’t recognise the name!). This British blue brie delivered a good rich texture and a slightly stronger flavour than its German rivals when fully ripened, but despite a big media launch and mass advertising, it never quite hit the spot and is now lost in history, along with the fictitious village it was named after. The French have also produced a version which is more deeply flavoured and creamier in texture, but as much as we tried to promote it, orders for Cambozola just keep piling in. The French blue brie has been reduced to special orders from the Paris market. However, I’m wondering if the Welsh and the Northern Irish might have cracked it and found an alternative to the German favourite. Both the Carmarthen Cheese Company and Fivemiletown are experiencing real success

with their ranges of bries – plain, blue and smoked. The Pont Gar white is mild and a typical British brie but the blue version has a lovely smooth curd and once it matures, you really know you’re eating a blue cheese. With smoked cheeses, a degree of care is needed, it needs to be done slowly and the smoke must never be too full on, particularly with a soft cheese. This time I think we may have beaten German cheesemakers to it by coming up with smoked Pont Gar, a superb cheese with a smokiness that allows the rich flavour to shine through and does not spoil the rind. Fivemiletown Creamery was established in 1898 and is a farmer owned cooperative using milk from their own herds roaming the Clogher Valley. Their Ballyblue and the Ballyoak both offer characteristic gentle creamy flavours of a natural cheese but any sharpness from the piquant veining in the blue is wonderfully offset by the rich creamy texture of the paste. The Ballyoak is gently smoked over oak foraged from the Forest of Caledon giving the rind a rustic crust and the paste deep, subtle smoky notes. Now we can all support British cheesemakers a little more and at the same time offer a range made in small batches that delivers a more artisanal taste experience. Whether you go for the Welsh or the Northern Irish made cheeses, you’re buying into a real point of difference which is always worthwhile!

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September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8

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September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8

focus on


Original thinking

While interest in premium chocolates remains strong, a stuttering economy means consumers need to understand what they’re paying extra for. MICK WHITWORTH reports.


t’s noon on a mid-August Monday and three holidaymakers are relaxing at a table outside artisan chocolate-maker Chococo’s shop and café in Swanage, the Dorset seaside town. Co-owner Claire Burnet hovers nearby, putting out a few props ready for her regular midday ‘talky bit’. Whenever she can, Burnet likes to invest some time in chatting with customers and passers-by about all things chocolate: where it comes from, how it’s made and the fact cocoa does not grow, and never has grown, in Belgium. It’s a good way to bring people into the shop, but it also has a wider educational role. Burnet beckons the waiting tourists over to the window of Chococo’s small factory opposite the shop in this narrow lane. Inside, one of her crew is infusing a big bunch of fresh garden mint into a bowl of fresh Dorset cream. Mixed with 70% dark chocolate, it will form the ganache for the 2010 three-star

Great Taste Award-winning Mellow Mint (Chococo took consecutive three-star golds in 2009 and 2010). As soon as Burnet launches into her spiel – “So, who can tell me where chocolate comes from?” – her audience swells to a dozen or more, mainly couples with kids. She passes round real cocoa pods for them to feel and lets them dip their fingers in a dish of cocoa butter before handing round a plate of singleorigin chocolate buttons from Africa and Central America. It’s a rare chance for the average punter to taste the earthy notes of a Venezuelan Canerero Special chocolate against the soft fruitiness of a 75% Trinitario from Tanzania or the floral notes of a smooth, 71% dark chocolate made with Cacao Nacional beans from Ecuador. Okay, one member of the audience is munching a packet of Skittles throughout, while another says the Venezuelan chocolate is “just like Bournville”. But everyone leaves

with a better understanding of why the chocolates in Chococo’s shop are worth two or three times what they’re used to paying. Chococo, started by Burnet in 2003 with husband Andy, has always been close to its public. While its wholesale business has doubled in the past year, its core sales are direct to consumers through the shop and mail order so Burnet sees pressing business reasons for getting the ‘real chocolate’ message across. This year, she reckons, will see a lot more belttightening, so it’s essential shoppers really understand the differences between Chococo and Cadbury. “We’re going into tough times,” she tells FFD. “VAT is going up, the cuts are going to bite. If people are going to spend money on premium products they want to know they’re getting value for money.” The Burnets, whose clients include Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, have long stressed their use of local ingredients such as Dorset cream and honey, especially in their fresh chocolates. But increasingly they are pushing the single origin message too, helping shoppers appreciate the differences between origins and understand the impact of their buying decisions on cocoa farmers. Chococo buys bulk chocolate though HB Ingredients, the UK’s largest independent supplier, which is also pushing the origin message strongly. “Consumers aren’t just getting more sophisticated about taste, but are also very aware of provenance,” says HB’s Rohan Stedman. The company has just set up a ‘chocolate for connoisseurs’ website to supply trade buyers with raw material that has “proven traceability back to the plantation that grew the cocoa bean”. “This is truly ‘fairly traded’ chocolate, so local economies benefit at source –


TALKING CHOC: Chococo’s Claire Burnet talks to shoppers and tourists outside the producer’s Swanage HQ. In a tough climate, she says, consumers need to know why they’re paying premium prices.

Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


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product update: chocolate •London’s Rococo Chocolates unveiled a new look for its Artisan Bar range this summer, inspired by the tiled Marococo garden at its Motcomb Street store. Previously all supplied in the same blue and white wrappers, the 16 different flavours now each have their own coloured designs. Varieties include basil & Persian lime, sea salt, cardamom, orange & geranium, chilli and the newly-launched raspberry.

• The latest products from Warwickshire’s Plush Chocolates are two varieties of Chocolate Petals: Fairtrade white chocolate with raspberry & rose and Fairtrade milk chocolate with strawberry & geranium. Both are handmade using real fruit and infused with flower oils and are presented in ‘handbag’ boxes (RRP £4.49).

Mark Mather

• Former Masterchef contestant Amelia Rope is launching her third chocolate bar range. The flavours – dark mandarin, dark spearmint, dark lemon, milk rose and milk sea salt – are exclusive to Selfridges’ Oxford Street store until December, after which she is free to develop other outlets. Since launching her first hand-made single origin bars

last Christmas, Rope has picked up accounts in London and the South East, including Mortimer & Bennett in Chiswick and The Food Company in Essex. Her range includes Dark Edition 01 (Mexican 71%), Dark Edition 02 (Ghanian 70%) and Pale Edition 01 (Arriba 39%) bars. RRP is £4.95-£5.45 per bar.

and therefore directly – from a better and fairer return for their cocoa,” says Stedman. As well as supplying bulk chocolate, HB handles a number of ‘origin retail products’: wrapped bars, processed and packaged at source, meaning the producer enjoys a larger share of the added value. They include the Madécasse range from Madagascar, El Ceibo from Bolivia (slogan: ‘Our land, our trees, our chocolate’) and The Grenada Chocolate Company (GCC), whose bars Chococo, among others, sells alongside its own branded products. At Rococo in London, founder Chantal Coady, a chocolate maker and retailer since 1983, has gone a step further. In 2007 she became part-owner with GCC of a cocoa farm, and Rococo’s house blend

now includes some of this raw material. Coady says provenance is increasingly important to consumers, and the Grenada link has become a key element in Rococo’s story. It’s not the traditional ‘colonial’ approach, she says, where wealthy outsiders buy the house, the farm and all the land on a plantation. “Ours is a 50:50 joint venture and it enables the farmers in Grenada to get a really good price.” Last month, a London-based hedge fund hit the news when it spent £600m buying nearly 250,000 tonnes of cocoa on the global market, pushing the market price to a 32-year high. Coady says this highlights how vulnerable specialist producers may be if they align themselves with the commodity sector. “It’s really important people have relationships that go further back to the farmers that grow the cocoa. When a hedge fund can buy up all the cocoa in Europe it shows how vulnerable we are.”

• Marc Demarquette believes he’s the first British chocolatier to include a Kentish cobnut in one of his creations. The “quintessentially British” nut is being used along with Provençal almond, Persian pistachio and American pecan & maple in a new selection of hybrid praline caramels in hand-painted 71.1% pure origin chocolate shells (RRP £16.00 of a box of 12). • Milk and dark chocolate Christmas trees with edible glitter, a hollow chocolate ‘snowglobe’ containing a winter ‘scene’ including a snowman and fir tree, and a trio of milk chocolate baubles in a tube are among the seasonal specials from Chococo for this Christmas. RRPs range from £8-50-9.50 for the 100g trees to £11.95 for each 125g snowglobe.

With stores in Chelsea, Belgravia and Marylebone, Rococo is part of a vibrant fine chocolates market in the capital. But there have been casualties in the sector too. The Kshocolat chain went into administration earlier this year, as did London-based Sir Hans Sloane Chocolate Co, which was later bought back by co-founder Bill McCarrick. Another casualty was The Chocolate Society, of which Chantal Coady was once a shareholder. Coady says further company failures this year are a distinct possibility, especially among those marketing style over substance. “We found an old FT article that said what a marvellous business model Kshocolat had, because everything was outsourced – it didn’t actually make anything. For me, that was a strong message: if you don’t have anything substantial as the basis of your business and don’t have any authenticity, you are at risk.”

“If you don’t have anything substantial as the basis of your business and don’t have any authenticity, you are at risk” Chantal Coady, Rococo Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


focus on


Eating chocolate, Doing good By stocking Ben Tre, you can offer world-class chocolate and support Action Against Hunger’s vital work, says food critic CHARLES CAMPION Vietnamese chocolate… whatever next? Part of the charm of judging at the Great Taste Awards is there are so many surprises, and one of this year’s most startling newcomers was an astonishing chocolate made using cocoa from Ben Tre Plantations in Vietnam. It took a maximum three gold stars. This cocoa is the vintage 2010 crop produced by a Vietnamese co-operative, set up to help a community still suffering from the long-term effects of chemical weapons deployed during the Vietnam war. The sugar used is unrefined and sourced from a family-owned plantation in Peru and the transformation from bean to chocolate is by an old-style third generation chocolatier based in Avignon, France, using a recipe created by Londonbased artisan chocolatier Marc Demarquette. With a pedigree like that, those chaps at the Guild of Fine Food decided it was too good for anyone other than delis, food halls and farm shops to stock. So they got together with Action Against Hunger (AAH) to produce limited edition 2010 vintage Ben Tre bars in aid of the food aid charity. The result is two very special bars – one 70% cocoa and the other a milk chocolate at 40% – that are exclusive to the speciality independent retail trade, with £1 from every bar sold going to the charity. Action Against Hunger is an international organisation that specialises in feeding starving children. For over a decade it has worked in partnership with leading restaurants on its annual Fight Hunger: Eat Out campaign. For 2010, Ben Tre will be part of this activity. It will be launched at this month’s London Speciality & Fine Food Fair amid a high profile PR campaign supported by many of the country’s leading celebrity chefs. Ben Tre will benefit everyone, from sustainable,

small-scale producers in Vietnam to the family sugar business in Peru and the 5 million people Action Against Hunger supports every year. I urge every deli, farm shop and food hall to stock these bars because the quality is impeccable, the charity’s objective totally laudable and those people at the Guild have put together a marketing package to help small shops score points over supermarkets while doing good.

Marc Demarquette, another top London chocolatier and winner of 10 Great Taste Awards golds this year, agrees. “Outsourcing is not welcome these days, whether it’s call centres or chocolates. People want something local that they can touch and feel – something accessible. Rather than seeing chocolate in lots of fantastic packaging, they want to see the white of your eyes while you’re making it.” It is, he points out, easy for newcomers to enter the market now with minimal skills. “There’s a lot of ready-made stuff people can get – the cups and shells, the liquid ganache – which they can put together like a Meccano set. All you really need is a piping bag, and Bob’s your uncle.” Chococo’s Claire Burnet says it’s important consumers are not put off premium chocolate by supposedly 32

September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8

Here’s the deal

Stock Ben Tre through October and November and: • Your store will be listed as a stockist on the Great Taste Awards website. • Your store will be listed in 250,000 copies of Taste Gold 2010/11, the guide to GTA-winning foods. • Your store will be mentioned as a local stockist in all regional press releases for Ben Tre. • You make 20% profit-on-return and the charity makes £1 from every bar.

Prices and case sizes

Ben Tre is supplied in point-of-sale display boxes of 20 x 70g bars, containing 10 dark and 10 milk varieties. The wholesale price per box is £61.00 inc VAT (£3.05 per bar, inc VAT). VAT is not payable on the £1 of the price going to the charity) RRP is £3.99 (inc 45p VAT)

How to order Tasting notes: Both the 70% and 40% Action Against Hunger bars have a good snap and excellent mouthfeel. They are richly flavoured with a faint spiciness and exotic hints underpinned by smoothness and a satisfyingly long finish. The quality of the chocolate is outstanding and won a three star gold at the 2010 Great Taste Awards – astonishing recognition when you consider this is one of only two bars at the 2010 awards to achieve that distinction. As one of the tasting panel said: “This could be the world’s best chocolate.”

‘artisan’ products that lack integrity. “When new people come into the market it can raise everyone’s game, but I hope consumers see through some of the marketing-speak too. “Over time, I think they will get less tolerant if the taste experience doesn’t live up to the hype, and it could make them more nervous about premium products.” And Rococo’s Coady says the continuing economic downturn means it’s time for producers to “wake up and smell the hot chocolate”. “It’s not just about having a lovely dreamy experience. We’re having to pull our belts in a lot.” But she also believes there is a “huge appetite” for quality products now. “Once you’re used to really good chocolate you reach the point where you’re not prepared to compromise,” she told FFD.

Add Ben Tre to your regular order from: Petty,Wood & Co 01264 345500 Hider Foods Imports 01482 504333 Anthony Rowcliffe & Son 01892 838999 OR If you do not expect to order from any of these companies over the coming four weeks, please call Charlie Westcar at the Guild of Fine Food: 01963 824464.

Again, Marc Demarquette agrees. “We’re in Chelsea, which probably has some of the most affluent streets in the world, but we still have people coming in from the housing estates with copper coins because they cherish what we make. They’ll save up to buy two or three chocolates for a Sunday treat. “If you rewind 10 years we were all still Nescafé addicts; now we’re all experts on coffee origins. Twenty years ago people drank Mateus rosé and thought it was fancy. But once you’ve had really good wine you won’t go back to the cheap stuff. “I’m confident chocolate will have its space, but it’s probably going to take 10 years.”

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Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


focus on


product update: chocolate • The Alresford Chocolate Company adds two spirit-infused truffles to its Chocolate Craft branded range this month, one with Courvoisier cognac, the other with Grand Marnier. The truffles will be included in a new pouch-pack format, available from October (RRP £5.50), as well as the company’s existing boxes.

• The Booja-Booja Company, which makes organic, dairy-free chocolates and non-dairy ‘ice cream’, is trialling a new size and shape of chocolate gift box. Handpainted by the same Kashmiri artists behind the existing BoojaBooja luxury gift box range, the mango-shaped boxes contain 12 truffles (RRP £19.99). They are being piloted by the British Museum but Booja-Booja tells FFD it’s happy to extend the trial to fine food stores. • New lines from Sussex-based artisan producer Cocoa Loco this year include Mini Chocolate Gingerboys (RRP £3.49 for a 100g bag). Available in white, milk or dark versions at an RRP of £3.49, they are being put forward as an organic, Fairtrade Christmas treat. • The Floral Collection is a new dark chocolate range from North Shields-based Davenport’s, combining natural flower oils with a smooth, fondant cream recipe. Flavours include lavender, rose geranium, fennel blossom, bergamot, rosemary and violet cream. The Floral Collection is available in two gift box sizes: 150g (RRP £8.95) or 300g (RRP £15.95).


September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8

• Willie’s Cacao has extended its singleorigin range to include five Willie’s Delectable chocolate bars and nine 100% cacao bars for cooking. Chocolate bar launches include Madagascan 71 Sambirano Superior (RRP £2.99), sourced from the Sambirano Valley in north west Madagascar and described as “a bar with a wonderful natural flavour and juicy notes of summer fruits”. The 100% cacao range has seen the addition of Indonesian Black Javan Light Breaking (RRP £5.99). • The Mortimer Chocolate Company now offers a white couverture powder providing a dairy-free alternative to white chocolate in cooking. Owner Adrian Mortimer says the milk notes in white chocolate can often overpower the more delicate cocoa notes, so he decided to make a dairy-free version that is also gluten and soya free. Mortimer’s white couverture powder costs £2.65 (trade) for a 220g bag, with an RRP of £3.80. • Launched in March, Matcha Chocolat makes handmade chocolates infused with teas, herbs and exotic spices from around the world, including several seasonal collections. The Emperor’s Selection and Jade Selection boxes, released this spring and summer, are joined this month by the Lotus Selection, featuring the Great Taste Awards gold-winning Secret Garden: a dark chocolate with layers of violet jelly and violet tea-infused milk chocolate ganache. The Winter Selection will offer five new flavours including Masala Chai Caramel. The selection boxes retail at around £14.95. • Dark chocolate & red pepper and milk chocolate & caramel Fleur de Sel are two additions to a range of French chocolate fondues in ceramic pots, available from BMC Global. It brings the full range, spanning dark, milk and white chocolate, to 33 varieties. The 200g pots are designed to be heated in a microwave or bainmarie for a few minutes, and can be used for dipping fruits, croissants or marshmallows. RRP is £10 (trade £5.40).

Dark chocolate with black olives, launched this year by Derbyshire-based BitterSweet, is a mild, dark Belgian chocolate that has black olives added as an inclusion. It’s supplied in a 130g bag as a broken slab, RRP £3.50. The olive adds a salty or savoury taste, says Nigel Holling of BitterSweet, making this a good after-dinner chocolate or cheese accompaniment. • Indian confectionery specialist Devnaa has launched a collection of artisan bars to complement its Indian sweet and chocolate truffle products. The London-based business was set up by siblings Roopa and Jay Rawal to develop desserts and chocolates with an Indian influence. It has won Great Taste Awards in consecutive years, most recently for its chai masala milk chocolate truffle, made with its signature blend of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and Belgian chocolate. Its new 70g bars are available in milk, white and dark chocolate infused with a variety of nuts and spices. RRP is £2.49 per bar or £11.99 for a 16-piece ‘tiffin’-style chocolate box. • Dorset-based House of Dorchester launches a new range of chocolates and a new, contemporary pack design at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair this month. Sales director Jeremy Moore says HoD has already had a “really positive” response from retailers to the new-look range, which includes the strapline ‘The home of Great British chocolates’ alongside a Union flag. Products includes boxed coffee, mint, caramel and dessert collections.

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savoury snacks

Packed crunch Now some of the original ‘hand-fried’ crisp makers have headed off towards the mainstream, more speciality snack brands are starting to pop up. Here’s our pick of the crunch bunch. • New York Delhi launched its ViP range of Indianspiced nuts into the club, bar and hotel market in April 2009, and is currently selling as far afield as Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Customers range from Fortnum & Mason to the British Army, whose buyers have listed ViP Nuts as a high protein snack, and the company is formally introducing its first retail range at this month’s Speciality & Fine Food Fair. Flavours include chilli lemon, hot chilli, masala and three new varieties: manuka honey & mustard, Bollywood Barbecue and What’s Up Wasabi. Nina Uppal of New York Delhi says it will initially be offering a 60g retail bag and a 1kg foodservice-size bag. Wasabi peas will also be available in kilner jars for drinking venues that like to keep nuts behind the bar. The 60g retail bags cost 65p plus VAT to the trade, with an RRP of £1.00-£1.20. w

• Launched in 2009, the Cornish Crisp Company has extended its range to five flavours with the addition of The Devastater, a hot chilli crisp. The company, set up to add value to Cornwall’s potato crop, also offers the Spectater (salt and black pepper), The Agitater (salt & vinegar), The Gratertater (cheese & onion) and The Commontater (ready salted). Cornish Crisp Co supports various regional charities, ranging from Surfers Against Sewage to Cornwall Community Foundation, linking each one to a different crisp flavour. A penny from each bag of the new Devastater sold will go to Cornwall-based international aid charity ShelterBox. • Pipers Crisps range can now boast a Great Taste Award for every flavour in its range after three more picked up golds this year, including a two-star gold for sea salt & Indian black pepper (left). Hand-cooked in Lincolnshire from 100% GM-free ingredients and suitable for vegetarians, Pipers Crisps are not sold to supermarkets. The range includes West Country cheddar & onion; sea salt & Somerset cider vinegar; sea salt & Indian black pepper; Anglesey sea salt; Norfolk Bloody Mary; Biggleswade sweet chilli; and No Salt.

• Conscious Food says it has had “great success” sampling its recently-launched range of artisan Indian snacks at food shows this year, as well as gaining listings in Selfridges, Planet Organic and various health stores. The millet- and sesame-based sweet and savoury range, sub-branded Power Snacks, is reportedly catching the eye of “coeliacs looking for something different, as well as foodies who are keen to try out new flavours and tastes”. The savoury lines (RRP £1.99) include sesame soya sticks lightly spiced with cumin, sorghum wheat crackers with parsley & black pepper and pearl millet crackers with mint & garlic. The snacks are made by hand in Mumbai using family recipes and traditional baking methods.

Veg crisps ‘could outsell hand-fried potato chips’ Staffordshire-based glennans, which now labels itself ‘the vegetable crisp company’, is launching a new pack design that it says represents a significant investment and a new era for the family company. Business development director Sarah GlennanMoore says: “Although we have a long history in retail, the glennans brand has always focused on foodservice until now, when we realize there’s a gap in the snacking market for a vegetable crisp category. ‘We made the bold decision to re-vamp our glennans lines and be the first to remove any visual reference to vegetables on the pack. We feel our new packaging is strong enough to make a statement on its own.” Brand manager Richard Thompson said the move was a chance to “not only create a fantastic looking brand but also to grow the premium snack category by

developing new flavours and vegetable combinations”. Thompson even believes the vegetable crisps market could eventually be bigger than the hand-cooked potato crisps sector. The glennans vegetable crisp range includes mixed vegetable, plantain & sweet potato and beetroot in 27g, 40g and 100g pack sizes. The Uttoxeter company also says it’s the first to introduce vegetable crisp multipacks, with 6 x 26g packs of assorted flavours. Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


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September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8

product update

savoury snacks

• Tyrrells took a lead from Beaujolais Nouveau wine-makers and came up with a limited edition ‘Chips Nouveau’ pack to mark the start of this year’s potato season. The chips are made with locally grown Herefordshire Lady Rosetta potatoes with a butter and mint seasoning. Launched in classy gold and burgundy packaging, Chips Nouveau are only available until October when the potato harvest ends. RRP is £1.39 for 100g.

• US producer Feridies claims to have been making ‘The World’s Best Peanuts’ since 1973, and UK buyers can now judge for themselves, as the nuts are available through distributor Bespoke Foods. Feridies uses the top 2% of Grade A Virginia-type peanuts, which are then roasted in pure peanut oil to keep their natural flavour. There are two varieties to choose from – salted and Cajun – both available in 170g resealable bags (trade price £2.48) and 255g lidded tins (trade £3.66). Bespoke is also handling the Buiteman brand of savoury snack biscuits from the Netherlands, which it says are ideal for appetizers or to serve with drinks. Bespoke says family-owned Buiteman “bakes the flavour right through the biscuit” to ensure an intense taste. Trade prices range from £0.99- £5.03.

• West Country-based Talia Slade says she decided to launch her salt & pepper nuts and spiced cashew nuts into independent stores after the hand-made products proved their “snack value” in the Bristol pub market. Both Talia’s Nuts products are available in 100g bags or 100g jars. The salt & pepper nuts have RRPs of £1.75 in a bag or £2.85 in a jar (trade prices £1.04 and £1.70 respectively) and the spiced cashews sell at £2.30 for a bag or £3.40 in a jar (trade £1.38 and £2.03). They’re available through Cotswold Fayre.

• Cottage Delight has introduced a range of gourmet crisps in six flavours, available exclusively to independent stores. They are made with potatoes thinly sliced with their skins on to retain flavour, which are then cooked in sunflower oil in small batches and seasoned by hand. Cottage Delight says it has opted for matt black packaging combined with striking on-pack images to reflect the “superior quality” of the crisps.

• Nine months’ development work went into the new Crunchy Bites from Suffolk-based Munchy Seeds, which combine crunchy dry-roasted sweet apricot kernels with pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds plus “a dash of savoury sauce”. RRP is £3.50 for 200g or £7 for 500g.

NEW PREMIUM BRAND OPTS FOR OLIVE OIL ANNE BRUCE talks to the husband and wife team behind newly launched Brown Bag Crisps IT director Phil Lambe and his wife Viv say it was a serious “crisp habit” that led them to start up their own gourmet business, selling premium crisps cooked in olive oil as opposed to the sunflower oil favoured by competitors. Their company, Ben and Bills, was set up back in December but the official launch of the new Brown Bag Crisps brand has had to wait until this month’s Speciality & Fine Food Fair at Olympia. In fact, packaging was still being finalised as FFD went to press, although crisps have been emerging from the fryer for several weeks. The Lambes say their Brown Bag Crisps are made from thicker-than usual slices of British potatoes such as Lady Rosetta and Lady Claire, fried in olive oil with their skins on. This option may be more expensive than oils used by competitors, but its gives a better flavour, says Phil Lambe. While some dismiss olive oil as unsuitable for crisp production because of its low smoking point, he reckons this is a myth. Brown Bag Crisps are fried at 160-180°C degrees, well off the 210°C smoking point of olive oil, he says, adding that

olive oil is widely used in crisp production in Australia, the US and continental Europe. Flavours available so far are: lightly salted; sea salt & malt vinegar; Manchego cheese, cheddar & onion; and oak smoked chilli. Further, fairly mainstream flavours such as sea salt & black pepper will be added in due course. Already the sea salt & malt vinegar crisps have won a vote of confidence pre-launch, in

the shape of a Great Taste Award gold. The Lambes are now ensconced at a 1,600 sq ft unit on an industrial estate in Bracknell, Berks, where, with the economy still looking rocky, they have been able to negotiate good terms. Their second-hand machinery, including a 25-year-old bagger, was all sourced at auctions, and they can produce up to 1,000 packets of crisps a day. Even with temporary packaging, Brown Bag Crisps are already listed in local farm shops and cafés at an RRP of 70p80p for 40g. Brown kraft paper-effect packaging has been chosen to indicate the contents are natural and genuinely handmade. Viv Lambe told FFD: “We also want our crisps to stand out on shelf from other premium crisps, which are usually packaged in brighter colours.” She also insists the brand won’t be appearing in supermarkets. “We’re committed to supplying small fine food establishments,” Lambe tells us. Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


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product update

bottled beers

Letting the genius out of the bottle The microbrewing boom is good news for specialist food and drink retailers, reports Graham Holter


eer sales have gone flat – the market was down 1% in the year to mid-April, according to Nielsen. But local brewers are upbeat. There are now something like 700 brewers in the UK, whose fortunes have been boosted by a helpful tax system for smaller producers, and a growing interest in premium ales. The trend towards local products and ingredients has also benefited micro and regional brewers. The Society of Independent Brewers now has 450 members, an all-time high. Its most recent survey found that bottled beer now accounts for around 15% of small brewers’ volumes, up dramatically from previous years. The survey also revealed that 77% sell beer to independent off-licences, and 56% to farm shops, with farmers’ markets and delicatessens receiving a slightly lower priority. Some local brewers find themselves beguiled by

the prospect of a supermarket listing, but for most the light is not worth the candle: the volumes aren’t usually as impressive as they hope, and buying terms can be onerous. There is far less price sensitivity in a farm shop or delicatessen environment, which means consumers will readily hand over £2 or more for a bottle of locally-produced ale, or something charismatic from further afield, so long as the flavour credentials justify the price. Thanks to increasingly high standards, both in terms of brewing expertise and bottling hygiene, they almost always do. UK brewers have a sense of adventure these days, and although the emphasis is often on local malt and hops, the inspiration is coming from Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic and America, as well as the textbooks which reveal the richness of Britain’s own brewing heritage. Consumers and retailers alike have never had it so good.

I can’t believe it’s not bitter: eight bottled beers with quirks • Keltek Natural Magik (50cl bottles, 4.5% abv) Vegan-friendly ales are few and far between, as most brewers use animal derivatives at some point in the process – typically isinglass, made from fish bladders, which is used as finings. Redruth’s Keltek Brewery bottles Natural Magik unfiltered, so it’s cloudy but, according to brewer Andy Hawken, “all of the rich, full flavours remain in the beer, rather than being filtered out for purely cosmetic reasons”. • Freedom Organic Dark Lager (33cl bottles, 4.7% abv) Another vegan product, made in the Dunkel style and blended with four malts to create a “burnt toffee, multi-layered sweetness”, according to the Staffordshire brewery. Freedom is one of a small but growing band of UK microbreweries producing authentic lagers. Its range also includes Freedom Four, Pilsner, and Organic Lager.

• Brewdog Tactical Nuclear Penguin (33cl bottles, 32% abv) Brewdog is a maverick Scottish brewery, famed for its Punk IPA and increasingly hardcore approach to alcohol content. TNP is double barrel aged for 14 months in whisky casks, before being frozen three times to concentrate its flavour and alcoholic strength. Until the launch of sister brand Sink the Bismarck (42% abv), this was the strongest beer in the world. • O’Hanlon’s Stormsay (50cl bottles, 5% abv) The Devon brewer describes Stormsay at its “big beer”, made with American Amarillo hops that impart a citrus flavour and soften the alcohol. O’Hanlons also uses Challenger and Northdown hops, and a mixture of pale and crystal malts, in this bottle-conditioned beer aimed at “serious ale drinkers”.

• Adnams Spindrift (33cl bottles, 4% abv) Spindrift has been part of the Adnams cask portfolio for three years and joined the bottled range this spring. Delivering a rich, creamy head when poured, Spindrift may look like a lager but it’s top fermented as an ale, and made with East Anglian barley, along with Boadicea and First Gold hops. • Rudgate Ruby Mild (50cl bottles, 4.4% abv) As recently as 1959, mild accounted for more than 40% of UK beer volumes, and some determined brewers are trying to reacquaint today’s consumers with this once beloved style. Rudgate, a North Yorkshire microbrewery, is the third company this century to win the Champion Beer of Britain accolade with a mild. The bottled version of this rich, nutty ale was launched to celebrate the 2009 victory.

• Marble Decadence (75cl bottles, 8.7% abv) This sturdy imperial stout is “intense and hoppy, but with a light finish”, says brewer James Campbell, rather than pungent and gloopy like some interpretations of the style. Produced annually and presented in a corked bottle, it’s for “eating your cheese with”, Campbell suggests.

• Humpty Dumpty Wherryman’s Way IPA (66cl bottles, 7.4% abv) IPAs were originally heavily-hopped beers sent from Burton to India. This Norfolk micro has based its latest launch on an American version of the style, and reports a “funky citrus hop character”. It is donating some of the proceeds to the upkeep of the Wherryman’s Way footpath between Norwich and Great Yarmouth. Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


product update

bottled beers

GREAT TASTE AWARDS 2010 GOLD-STAR BEERS Three-star gold Jaipur IPA Thornbridge Brewery Two-star gold Gadds No.3 Ramsgate Brewery Falling Stone Wold Top Brewery Centenary Way Wold Top Brewery Tomos Watkin Magic Lagyr Hurns Brewing Co

Riggwelter The Black Sheep Brewery

Otter Head The Otter Brewery

Black Sheep Ale The Black Sheep Brewery

Arran Blonde Arran Brewery

Breconshire Ramblers Ruin The Breconshire Brewery

Arran Milestone Arran Brewery

Saint Petersburg Imperial Russian Stout Thornbridge Brewery

Blorenge Golden Ale Tudor Brewery, Abergavenny

Arran Dark Arran Brewery

Halcyon Green Hopped IPA Thornbridge Brewery Black Gold The Cairngorm Brewery Co

Otley 06 Otley Brewing Co ONE-star gold Wolds Way Wold Top Brewery

Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Harviestoun Brewery [PIC] Harviestoun Ola Dubh 18 Harviestoun Brewery Trade Winds The Cairngorm Brewery Co Breconshire Golden Valley The Breconshire Brewery Croots Cow Juice Croots Farm Shop Pictured (l-r): Gadds No 3, Otley 06, Blorenge Golden Ale and Harviestoun Ola Dub 18

Croot’s own-label ‘farmyard’ beer is a winner By MICK WHITWORTH

Croots Cow Juice, a full bodied 6% ale produced for Derbyshire’s Croot’s Farm Shop by Nutbrook Brewery, has just delivered a one-star Great Taste Awards gold for retailer Steve Croot. It’s one of four ‘farmyard’ beers designed by Croot last year to join the regional ales selection at his farm shop at Farnah House Farm, Duffield. The others are the ‘hoppy’ Pig in a Bottle (4.5%), Ewe Drink (3.6%), a sweet beer with a rich golden colour, and the stronger Croots Shire Ale (6.2%). Reinforcing the Croots brand, Shire Ale gets its name from the heavy horses that graze at Farnah House Farm, Duffield, where the farm shop is based. It features a 50-year-old photo on its label showing Tom Yates – the grandfather of Steve’s wife Kay – and two Shire horses that lived Steve Croot: ‘Own-label beer was a great move for us’ at the farm in 1959. Croots retails its four own-brands at £2.45 per bottle, achieving a £1.15 gross margin. going for own-label beer was a great move. It’s “Local and regional beers in general have been fantastic for us. been very popular,” Steve Croot tells FFD, “but “We started off with two of our own-label


September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8

Croots beers last year and they went down so well that we soon added another two. We’re about to add a fifth in our farmyard series.” All are brewed by Nutbrook Brewery at nearby West Hallam. “I’d definitely recommend that farm shops and delis look into the local breweries in their areas and explore the possibilities of own-label ales,” says Croot. “When we first introduced regional beers we weren’t sure how they would go and I envisaged we’d move them into the wine department. But we shift so much that we have a dedicated display table which is regularly topped up. It looks great.” As well as selling his own beers, the retailer makes space for a further 10 regional ales. “We also sell boxes that can take three or four bottles of beer,” says Croot. “We charge extra for those. They make excellent gifts for Father’s Day, birthday presents – that kind of thing. We sell stacks at Christmas.” Croots sells around 1,200 bottles of Nutbrook-brewed beer every month.



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case studies

Clarity begins at home

When Appleby’s needed a ‘simpler, stronger’ brand it didn’t have far to go for advice


lare Downes was brought up on the Appleby family’s Shropshire dairy and cheese-making farm, so her childhood revolved around cheese. As the third generation of the family, Clare is now supporting the business with marketing and business development through her own Monkhouse Marketing operation. Over the past two years, Downes has worked with her family to update the 25-year-old business name and brand design. “We needed to ensure continuity with key elements of the original brand including the name Appleby’s, the large A symbol and the colour palette,” says Downes. “But the aim was to create a simpler, stronger brand so

customers could easily identify with the revised company name and the supporting visual identity. The new branding has been taken across stationery, labels, product tags, uniforms, trade and consumer marketing material, exhibition stands and website, with Monkhouse Marketing directing the photography, managing print, and handling the launch of the brand through PR.

Giving Bromley a taste of New York Jeremy Jacobs approached design specialist Glo Creative to help him develop his New York-inspired deli in London


nthused by a trip to the US and with 25 years of retail know-how behind him, Jeremy Jacobs wanted to bring back a piece of the Big Apple by opening a New York-style deli at home in Bromley, south east London. Jacobs asked Glo Creative – the design division of foodservice packaging specialist Planglow – to come up with both a name and branding for his site, just off Bromley high street. Jacobs wanted a design that would work on everything from glassware and signage to labelling, as well as matching with the shop’s furniture and fittings. It had to be easily recognisable, yet differentiate the business from the fierce high street competition, and attract locals and office workers alike with a relaxing and modern atmosphere. The results was Bloomingdeli’s, a stylish deli-café specialising in New York-style bagels, freshly made sandwiches and quality salads. Kerry Mundy, senior designer and creative head of Glo,

developed the contemporary branding to complement the company’s zesty green seating and dark wood interior. “The brand’s handwritten style really captured the vibrant, freshly-made philosophy of Bloomingdelis,” says Jacobs. “It ties everything together and we’ve had some really positive comments on the name, including from our American customers.”

Glo Creative was set up specifically to develop brand identities for new catering businesses or those looking to re-brand. Using the capabilities of Planglow, the brand can then be applied to all possible catering products, merchandising and literature, from signage and stationery to product labels and packaging.

‘Granny chic with a modern twist’ British heritage and vintage style have been the focus of design – both imagery and typefaces – over the past year, according to Glo design chief Kerry Mundy. “For example, 1940-50s wartime, street parties, bunting and cup cakes have been hugely popular,” she says. “Tyrrells and M&S are prime examples of companies playing on this trend”. Design has moved away from a digital, high-tech look with futuristic graphics, she says, and instead is going back to basics, using more hand-drawn illustrations and letter-pressing. Mundy herself likes contrasting retro colours with handdrawn imagery as well as using more experimental colour combinations. “What I’m seeing at the moment is a clash of modern and traditional, old imagery, like floral patterns mixed with modern typography: granny chic with a modern twist, if you like.” Contrasting a bright modern colour with a more traditional colour palette can be a good way of giving a brand some longevity. “Working with existing furnishings and fixtures and using them as a base or accent colour can work really well – as well as saving money,” says Mundy. “With Bloomingdeli’s, for example, we chose more traditional colours of dark brown and cream to contrast with the bright green of the chairs.” Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


MHM Fine Food Digest Ad:MHM Fine Food Digest Ad 03/08/2010 20:17 Page 1








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September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8




Win a total brand revamp Does your pack design or branding need an overhaul? Convince us your speciality product is a star in waiting and you could win a complete redesign by WowMe!


rudence Staite had already carved out a niche for herself as a ‘food sculptress’ before she launched her first retail products under the Food Is Art brand. The Gloucestershire artist and her team create bespoke works of art carved from chocolate, cheese or bread to create a talking point for PR activity, product launches and other events. Staite also offers a range of chocolate novelties through her website, including chocolate chess and a jengastyle set, Choco-blocs. When Fortnum & Mason began selling Choco-blocs as a foodie gift it highlighted the scope for her to break into the speciality food market. But it also forced her to rethink her branding and packaging, which amounted to little more than a clear plastic box with a stick-on label. Staite briefed WowMe! Design, also based in Gloucestershire, to undertake a complete branding exercise, encompassing everything from product to website. And now, even before her new cartons are printed, Staite has been promised a listing for Choco-blocs in Selfridges. “Prudence basically had no brand presence,” says WowMe! partner James Maycock. “She creates these wonderful works of art that we thought would not look out of place in a gallery, so we took this concept further creating a style of packaging that literally framed her masterpieces. We created a mock-up pack for


WowMe! will carry out a brand consultancy project worth up to £5,000, fully tailored to the needs of the prize-winner. “We’ll start by evaluating their current brand and packaging, talk to them about their product and the marketplace it will perform in, and then write a creative brief for our design team,” says James Maycock. “Often we’ll end up with one wall of our meeting room completely papered with ideas and scamps [rough designs] which we then narrow down to two or three that best fit the criteria of the brief to present to the client, before agreeing a design proposal that’s worked up fully, ready to go live.” Prudence to show to Selfridges, and they loved it.” The right look can change the fortunes of a budding speciality food brand. And now WowMe!, whose clients include major producers like Kerry Foods and Lily O’Briens as well as smaller brands such Hot-Headz chilli sauces, is offering to help another small firm achieve a similar stepchange in a competition running in conjunction with Fine Food Digest. “We’re looking for small producers whose products have got bags of potential but who need help in getting to the next

level,” says James Maycock. Competition entrants will be asked to give an overview of their product and business and explain why they feel their brand or packaging is holding them back. In October, a group of judges including WowMe! creative director Andy White, FFD editor Mick Whitworth and Aylie Cooke, head of buying at London’s latest premium food store, Union Market, will choose the product they believe has most potential. The result will be announced in November. WowMe! will then review their current market offering before presenting a brand and packaging proposal to be showcased in FFD in March. “We’re offering the winning producer a creative brand and packaging proposal that they can pick up and run with straight away,” says James Maycock. “Obviously the implementation will need some level of investment from the producer, so we can’t guarantee the winner will go ahead with the project. But we’ll work closely with them to ensure the final proposal is practical as well as creative and effective.”


Any speciality food producers who feel their products are let down by their current brand design or who need to create a new brand to take their business forward. It could be a start-up or even a kitchen-table producer looking for ideas, or an established small firm needing a leg-up to the big time.


Go to ffdcompetition to download an entry form and full details of the competition.


Entries must by submitted by Friday October 15 at the latest.


WowMe! Design is a Cotwoldsbased brand and packaging design consultancy whose clients include well know names such as Kerry Foods, Sainsbury’s, Arla Foods, chocolate brand Lily O’Brien’s and the Auld Sod Export Co, which sells, believe it or not, bags of Tipperary soil to the US. WowMe! founding partners Andy White, Paula Hope, James Weston and James Maycock have worked in creative roles James Maycock across the consumer goods (top) and industry, majoring Andy White in food, drink and toys. The company is a Guild of Fine Food accredited supplier.

Food sculptress Prudence Staite gained a listing in Selfridges after a branding exercise by WowMe! Design

Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


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Tel: 0121 486 4500 Sundries, Equipment, Machinery and More.

Order Now: Email: Visit: Telephone: 01726 842346 The Ashes, Tregoney Hill, Mevagissey, Cornwall, PL26 6RQ

Hider Food Imports Ltd is a family-owned business which has been trading for nearly 50 years. During this time we have gained a reputation for supplying quality products which are delivered by our own fleet of vehicles. A dedicated telesales department is employed to support our external sales team in order to provide all customers with a rapid response to any specific requirements. Our best selling brands include Hazer Baba, Green & Black’s, Montezuma’s, Border Biscuits, Fudges Bakery, Belvoir Fruit Farm, Twinings, RJ’s Licorice, Mrs Crimble’s, Fentimans, Tyrells and many more. We produce seasonal brochures each year including our popular Christmas brochure which features a superb range of luxury gift food. Also available under our own ‘Essence of Quality’ label is a wide range of pre-packed nuts, snacks, dried fruits, culinary and confectionery goodies. The recent launch of our ‘Sweet Shop’ brand has been warmly received by customers – offering a wide selection of good old-fashioned favourites. Please contact our sales team on 01482 504333 and ask for our latest product list which will hopefully give you a further idea of our full range of products. Hider Food Imports Ltd, Wiltshire Road, Hull, East Yorkshire HU4 6PA tel: 01482 561137 fax: 01482 565668 website: email: 50

September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8


speciality & fine food fair

Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2010


Order, order If you can’t find something that grabs your eye at the trade’s biggest annual show, you’re not looking hard enough


he owners and sales-folk of hundreds of speciality food companies were retrieving their suits from the dry cleaners or ironing their logoembroidered polo shirts as FFD went to press, ahead of the trade’s biggest annual bash. And with over 550 producers, distributors and food groups taking part in this year’s Speciality & Fine Food Fair, the hope must be that retailers will be ordering freely, particularly ahead of the critical Christmas season. Organisers FreshRM reckon about a third of exhibitors are here for the first time – a proportion comparable to our own Harrogate Speciality Food Show back in June – which means plenty of new stuff for buyers to get their teeth into. Many of the September ‘launches’ have already been flagged in FFD’s Shelf Talk pages over the past few months, but Olympia will provide the first chance for you to taste some of these products for yourselves. This

year, rather than repeat what we’ve already told you in previous issues, we’ve decided to give you the full exhibitor list from the show over the next few pages, so you can see everyone who’s there and decide who to target. Check out the SFFF website for any late additions. Speciality food retailers will have some hefty buying competition this year as exhibitors here and at next Spring’s IFE show at Excel in London are being given the chance to present their products to the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics organisers. Jan Matthews, head of catering for the London organising committee, says her team is looking to source quality local and regional from the UK for what is expected to be the largest peace-time catering operation the world has seen. The Olympics buyers will also be looking for international foods, and they’ll be able to make a start at Olympia, where the usual French,

Spanish and Italian group stands will be supplemented this year by new international contingents from countries including Ecuador and Hungary. Regular features returning this year include the Fine Food Forum, Small Business Forum – including new advice clinics – and seperate Speciality Chocolate Fair. And the Guild of Fine Food will again be showcasing this year’s Great Taste Awards winners ahead of the finals night at Fortnum & Mason on September 6.

FACTFILE What: Speciality & Fine Food Fair Where: Grand Hall, Olympia Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX When: Sunday Sept 5, 10:00-17:30 Monday Sept 6, 09:30-17:00 Tuesday Sept 7, 09:30-17:00

Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


Award winning gluten free products!

The taste of the English countryside

Launching our new ‘bites’ range at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair – Visit us at Stand 1152 !

•  Chocolate •  Carrot



Indulgent gluten free food Brownies, petit fours, loaf cakes, cake slices b-tempted, Unit B9, Beta Centre, 7-11 Minerva Rd, London, NW10 6HJ 020 8537 1126 fineCONF1-2:fineCONF1-2 17/6/10 15:29 Page 1

Summerdown is launching a new English tea, spearmint and camomile, to go with its well known award-winning peppermint tea. visit

For confectionery at it’s finest

The Fine Confectionery Company Ltd Tel:


01992 551075

September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8


preview Stand Exhibitor 620 A Taste of Arran 821 A.A.PR.A. Aquitaine 612 Aberko Ltd 1178 Aceites Guadalentin 1154 Adesso Foods 431 Agricola Apodea 352, 462 Aine’s Handmade Chocolates 348 Alresford Chocolate Company 802 Amber Bakery 777 Anthony Rowcliffe & Son 1041 Antica Dispensa Bricco e Bastia 186 Appleby Bakery 252 Apulia Blend t/a The Olive Oil Co 231 Argentine Embassy 552 Artisan Biscuits 439 Arturo Sanchez e Hijos SL 507 Ashbourn Retail Display Furniture 336 Ashbourne Foods 1110 Atkins and Potts 801 Atlantico UK 348 Auntieji’s Kitchen 868 Authentic American Food Company 843 Avery Berkel 431 Az. Agricola Sabatini Riccardo 882 azada organic 139 Azienda Agricola Samperi di Giovanni Trovati 1042 Ballancourt 192 Baruzzo 910 Beckleberry’s 188 Bellota 613 Belvoir Fruit Farms

1055 Besmoke 904 Bespoke Foods 939 Best Imports 338 Biddenden Vineyards 869 Bio Planete 309 Biscotti 1033 Bon Bons (Wholesale) 1033 Bon Chocolat 362 Bonbonetti Choco 349 Bookham Fine Food 462, 352 Bord Bia (Irish Food Board) 911 Border Homebake 348 Born To Be Yummy 683 Bramble Foods 849 Bramley & Gage 956 Brana since 1897 – Fine Wine & Spirits 207 Breckland Orchard 821 Bretagne Gourmet 821 Bretagne International 903 Brother Tom’s 117 Brown Bag Crisps 666 BSD - Belgian Sweets Design 152 b-tempted 911 Burtree Puddings 239 Butterfly Meadow 784 Bysel 612 Cairngorm Brewery Company 1038 Calico Cottage 937 Camellia Sinesnsis 431 Camera di Commercio di Terni 982 Capital Coffee Roasters 825 Carmarthenshire County Council 633 Cartmel Village Shop




Who’s at the show this year?

Guild of Fine Food members shown in red type


speciality & fine food fair


111 Casa Barone 953, 956 CCI Bayonne Pays Basque 955, 954 821 Cci nord pas de calais 633 Charbrew 628 Chase Distillery 617 Chateau de Pena - S.C.V. l’Agly 821 Chatillon Chocolatier 1138 Chegworth Valley Juices 628 Chestnut Meats 207 Chilli Company 119 Chiltern Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil 234 Chiltern Natural Foods 286 Choc affair 276 Choc Chick Raw Chocolates 676 ChoCo’a 276 Chocoholly 375 Chocolat Mathez 570 Chocolate Blush 682 Chocolate for Connoisseurs 271 Chocolaterie Michel Cluizel 374 Chocolaterie Petit’ Grandeur 1148 Choi Time Teas 841 Chunk of Devon 949 Churchill’s Confectionery 804 Cidre Bigoud / Le Brun 804 Cidres De La Ville D’Ys 167 Ciren Calui 520 Claire Macdonald’s Food 725 Clam’s Handmade Cakes 483 Classic Fine Foods UK 633 Clippy’s Apples 177 Cocoa Loco 325 Coles Traditional Foods 178 Compass Spirits 431 Comune Di Terni GAL Ternano 374 Confiserie Bonte Pinson Europa Sweet 617 Confiserie du Tech Sas 520 Connage Highland Dairy 154 Conscious Food (UK) 439 Conservas Lolin 911 Consett Popcorn Company 821 Consortium du Jambon de Bayonne 505 Cook Trading 352, 462 Cooleeney Cheese 352, 462 Coolmore Foods 431 Cooperativa Panificatori orvietani 954 CoopÈrative LaitiËre du Pays Basque 821 COPALIS 821 COPALIS 435 Corkers

Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2010

5-7 SEPTEMBER • LONDON OLYMPIA Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010



Ambient Pâtés  … and much more  UNIT 10, 7 AIRFIELD ROAD, CHRISTCHURCH, DORSET BH23 3TQ 01202 480480

Cotswold Fayre come and see our new products and Christmas range on stand


Wholesaler of Speciality Food to the UK & Ireland 54

September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8

08456 121201


speciality & fine food fair

Cotswold Fayre - Stand 424 439 424 633 633 925 942 1142 520 580

Cortijo De Suerte Alta S.L. Cotswold Fayre Country Fare Country Puddings Courela do Zambujeiro Bio Olivicultura France Cranborne Chase Cheese Craving Designs Cream O Galloway Aug 2010 London.pdf 05/08/2010 Creme D’Or


254 642 642 283 332 175 375 849 448 412 986 713 DEMO 1144 1047 1056 207 948 620 677 1186 849 471 613 207/L 733 952 420

Crips D.O.P. Dehesa de Extremadura D.O.P. PimentÛn de la Vera Danucci International Darvilles of Windsor Davenports Chocolates Davoise SAS Deli Farm Charcuterie Delicioso UK Delidownunder Deliwraps Delpeyrat Demo Exhibitor Desco di Corte Development Italian Food Srl Devonshire Tea Diaper Poultry DIBAL UK DipNation Discover the Origin Divine Deli Supplies Dorset Farms Duffy’s Fine Chocolate East Midlands Fine Foods East of England Development Agency Eazy Cuizine Ecobags Edinburgh Preserves


Heaven from Devon

228 963 642 909, 908 909 908 642 463 248 207 809 763 1135 431 980 439, 642

El Olivo Olive Oil Co Embassy of Ecuador Embutidos Farcedo S.L. Empire Foodbrokers Ltd Empire Foodbrokers/Dilmah Tea Empire Foodbrokers/Le Whif Encomienda de Cervera Enterpack Envis Foods Ltd Fairfields Farm Crisps Farmhouse Products & Minter’s Fine Foods Farrah’s of Harrogate Farrington Oils Fattoria Le Poggette Feeding Your Imagination FIAB, Spanish Food & Drink Industry Federation 612 Findlaters Fine Foods 1006 Fish Fanatics 1032 Fivemiletown Creamery 733, 633 Food Northwest 849 Forest Products (UK) 1002 Fosters Traditional Foods 713 France Alimentaire 617 France Gourmet 1183 Francisco Martinez Najera 431 Frantoio Suatoni


MELLOW YELLOW® cold pressed rapeseed oil is at the heart of all Farrington’s award winning products, produced on our family farm.









Now is the time to stock our scrumptious range of extended life Creams and Creme Fraiches. Their extended life means wastage is a thing of the past and the delicious fresh flavour ensures your customers keep coming back. Recipe pads are also available. Contact Mary on

01225 812712

...Britain’s original seed to bottle producer

or visit w w w. t h e d ev o n c re a m c o m p a n y. c o m

Visit us on STAND 216 at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair, London

d lasts... t lasts an a h t m a e cr F re s h t a s t i n g

Our great selling range is available from select wholesalers or directly from us

01933 622809 Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


Challenge The Taboo I ask for your help to raise awareness and help break the taboo of talking about cancer. Over the next 3 months 30,000 bottles of this Cranberry Crush will be on shelves all over England. The profit will be passed to Cancer Research UK, but more importantly we hope people start to talk a little more openly about this disease. Breaking that taboo can mean that it is discovered at an earlier stage and can be treated successfully. It touches us all. Please put this on your shelves.

T. 01364 64 30 36 Sicilian Lemonade Raspberry Lemonade

Apple & Elderflower Juice

w w w. l u s c o m b e . c o . u k

Working with

producers of regional food and drink

The regional food group for the West Midlands



s t u 17 a ee 6 pi M D m AN ly ST F O F SF

HEART of ENGLAND fine foods (HEFF)

Presenting from:

If you are a buyer HEFF can... ♦ Arrange Meet the Buyer events ♦ Provide free retail equipment ♦ Deliver products through our HEFF Delivery Service Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre Vanguard Way, Battlefield Enterprise Park Shrewsbury, SY1 3TG Tel: 01743 452818 Email:

AZAIS POLITO Traditional and tasty seafoods, crab, scampi and lobster soups as well as their rock fish soups and rouille awarded in 2008 & 2009

RAYON D’OR Beekeepers cooperative for several generations, producing the finest honeys from the Pyrenees

CANAVERE RICE Delicious Red, Black, Perfumed and White quality rice from Camargue Tel: 020 7639 1711 FRANCE

We import a large range of ambient and chilled fine food GOURMET

Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


extra as


be in control . . . The new Avery XM touch-screen scale can be linked to the unique EurekaTM business management system Gold award hamper available in various sizes

“Eureka is the

Number One stock control and retail management solution for the independent retail sector”

Traditional Baking from Wales now available UK wide

Visit us at the Speciality Fine Food Fair – STAND 725

Visit us on Stand 843 South Coast Systems

01825 732497 Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


Winner of over

40 Great Taste


Speciality Producer of the Year

Traditionally handmade with passion and the finest ingredients to ensure quality without compromise.

teapigs contain only the very best whole leaf tea (no dusty stuff in sight) giving your customers the best tasting tea ever!

Suitable FOR vegetarians vegans coeliacs

embellish with relish™

The Hawkshead Relish® Company Ltd The Square, Hawkshead, Cumbria, UK LA22 ONZ

Fine Food Digest Magazine 100 x 141.5mm issue: AUG 2010 File name: FFD-8.10-100x141.50.pdf


September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8

Find out more at or contact us on or call 020 8840 3506 Please visit us on Stand 853 at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair, London

s a st ee F t S an u in p d s e e 1 o F ci 0 n o a 2 o lit 5 d y Fa & ir

015394 36614 |

FREE from artificial flavours colourings preservatives gluten nuts

Our biodegradable tea temples contain real whole leaf teas and infusions. Black tea. Green tea. Herbal tea. White tea. Rooibos. Oolong.

preview 431 280 869 940 1181 1126 431 642 821 442 955 431 431 313 628 437 218 877 821 184 237 439 855 1118 285 1141 634 386

Organic Farm Iannarilli Ferruccio Organic Seed & Bean Organico Realfoods Orient Drink Oro de las Villas E.V. Olive Oil Ouse Valley Foods Pagliaro Service PaÌs de Quercus Palmilandes – FG ì FrËres Gourmetsî Paltita, Aconcagua Oil & Extract PariËs – Gourmandises Basques Pasticceria Grilli Pasticceria Pazzaglia Pasticceria Rippa snc Pat Gorman Pies Paxton & Whitfield Penpont Brewery Pentic Price Ticketing Perle De Groseille Perry Court Farm Persis Ltd Pescados PCS S.L. Pescaviar S.L Peter Popples Philip Maes Fine Chocolates Pimhill Organic Farm Pipers Crisps Plush Chocolates

speciality & fine food fair 320 1011 821 1158 371 477 1076 217 439 1178 1017 617 316 1179 935 849 432 934 612 1060 420 971 236 520 760 235 368 383

Pollen True Taste Porter Foods Potdevin Caron Potts Partnership Pour Toi Prestat Pride of Place (Food and Drink) Primera Technology Europe Productos Damel S.L. Productos Majuelo Products from Spain Ltd Prosain PT Bakery Puji Puji Restaurant Purity Trading /Curry Tree Quickes Traditional R H Packaging Radfords Fine Fudge Rannoch Smokery Redwood Bay Reids of Caithness Relish In Spice Remmerco Renshaw Napier Retail Computer Solutions Ringden Farm Apple Juice RJF Farhi Limited Rococo Chocolates

984 Roger & Roger 193 Romeo & Juliette 335 Rosie’s Gourmet Products (UK) Ltd 821 Rouzaire sa 133 Rude Health 713 Salaisons de l’Adour 886 Salami Ivan-Belgium 1058 Salamon & Seaber Limited 224 Salento (UK) 566 Sally Williams Fine Foods (UK) 439 Santa Clara Export 642 Santa Rita Flours to Cook & Tempura 617 Sarl le Sauzet 1029 Saverio Adamo Elios 278 Saveurs et Natures 138 Saz Foods 620, 612 Scotland Food & Drink 520, 420 620 1049 Seafare Products 633 Seasoned Pioneers 713 Sechoir Collectif des Aldudes

Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2010


Are your products the best dressed ? In the never-ending competition to attract customers, eye-catching decorative thermal labels are an indispensable sales tool. With our state-of-the-art printing methods the design possibilities are virtually limitless. Seven true colours are available along with all the options offered by four-colour printing, additional coating and embossing. As manufacturers of thermal printing equipment we are well aware of the problems a bad quality label can cause; this is why we produce our thermal laminates in-house to Bizerba’s demanding quality guidlines. This amount of control allows us to produce high quality, economic labels, ensuring optimum life and smooth operation of thermal printing equipment, minimising downtime and increasing your productivity. BIZERBA (UK) Limited, Eastman Way, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP2 7DU Tel: 01442 240751 Fax: 01442 231328 Email: Web: Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


preview 277 976 642 845 431 501

Seeds of Change Seggiano SeÒorÌo de Hinojales Senorio De Jaen Serafini liquori Servicios de AlimentaciÛn Vazquez Asociados S.L. 849 Sharpham Park 633 Shaw Meats Ltd 352, 462 Shellfish de la Mer 849 Sheppy’s Cider Ltd 1133 Sherston Tea Company 520 Shortbread House Of Edinburgh 1128 Shou Trading 1137 Shropshire Fine Herbs 1143 Shropshire Granola 640 Sibilla Foods 733 Silver & Green 520 Simple Simons Pies 1159 Simply Ice Cream 725 Snowdonia Cheese Company 977 Solleys Farms Ice Cream Ltd 821, 804 Sopexa 713, 925, 374 804 Sopexa (UK) 583 Source Trust 348 South East Food Group Partnership 606 Speciality Food Traders Ltd

speciality & fine food fair 420 613 947 620 921 1008 305 617 157 978 156 270 339 1168 857 911 520 849, 749 643 107, 207 1166 853 150 30 1117 725 1132 833

Spencerfield Spirit Company Spice-N-Tice St Marcus Fine Food Stag Bakeries Steenbergs Organic Stokes Sauces (Essfoods) Subhi Jabri & Sons Sud de France Export Sugargrain Sun Mark Supercherry Swedbrand Sweet Botanicals Sweetiebag Taifas SA Tanfield Food Company Taste of Bute Taste of the West

180 129 613 1173 216 46 1129 552 476 135 983 625 862 148 329

The Big Yum The Cornish Jute Bag Company The Country Victualler The Cracking Good Food Company The Devon Cream Company The Ethiopian Coffee Company The Fabulous Vodka Company The Fine Cheese Co The Fine Confectionery Company The French Dressing Company The Fresh Olive Company The Fresh Pasta Company The Garlic Farm The Good Salt Company The Gourmet Candy Company

Simple Simon - Stand 520

Tastes of Anglia Tea Ltd Teapigs Tenuta Maiano Teoni’s Terra Rossa Jordan The Anglesey Sea Salt Company The Artisan Bakery The Bay Tree Food Company

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Creamy Vanilla Custard • • • • • •

100% natural Shelf life 3 weeks minimum refrigerated Unique 2-3 portion (330g) size - not available in the supermarkets Suitable for home freezing Perfectly complements our delicious handmade puddings Contact Lynne on 017684 80864 or email

Country Puddings, Lodge Farm, Dacre, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 0HH


September 2010 Puddings · Vol.11ad.indd Issue 18 County Design - Country


Chocolate Fudge Sauce

13/5/09 13:13:51


blackcurrant & liquorice ice cream


bloody “Sheila” sorbet

espresso ice cream


Our hand made sorbets, fresh cream ice creams and patisserie have won a further 6 Great Taste Awards this year, taking our tally to 60.

We are taking a break from the show this year.

We are very proud to have added a further 3 of the coveted 3 star Golds - giving us 6 in total. As well as this our creations have been awarded Best Speciality from the North East a record 4 times, Best English speciality and Supreme Champion of the Great Taste Awards - displaying the consistency upon which our reputation is built and our customers rely.



For all trade enquiries please call 0117 939 3914 Y



"Stunningly delicious" - The Telegraph Magazine



“ a fantastic product ” - Anthony Worrall-Thompson





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"Smooth & intense, it delivers everything you want from a sorbet" - Lucas Hollweg, The Sunday Times

me Cham

w w w. b e c k l e b e r r y s . c o . u k

We are proud to announce that we have won 8 Gold medals in this year’s Great Taste Awards, including two 3-star awards for our Tortas de Aceite and Cecina! Come and taste some of the very best that Spain has to offer – at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair, Stand 448 – or contact us for more information and our Christmas brochure, out now! Speciality Importer of the Year 2008 telephone 01865 340055 | | Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


preview 753 1155 528 243

The Guild of Fine Food The Gum Tree Apiary The Ice Cream Union The Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Company 1162 The Little Sauce Company 933 The Metropolitan Tea Company 1025 The Original Candy Co 1053 The Original Drinks & Food Co 613 The Pickled Village /Bulwick Fine Foods 1134 The Potted Fish Company 634, 534 The Regional Food Group for

WBC - Stand 510

speciality & fine food fair

352, 462 613 163 1175 849 634 153 1054 634 420 936 1068 849 238 821 1152 1034 1127 625 225 741, 641 612 528 786 1077 708 821

Yorkshire & Humber The Scullery The Spanish Chocolate Company The Spice Shelf The Tomato Stall The Tracklement Co The Ultimate Candy Co The Walnut Tree The Wooden Spoon The Yorkshire Provender Thistly Cross Cider Thursday Cottage TIANA Fair Trade Organics Tom’s Pies Transmanche Foods Traou Mad Trees Can’t Dance Treflach Farm Troots True Marketing Tyrrell’s Potato Chips UK Trade & Investment Uncle Roy’s Comestible Concoctions Une Normande a Londres Unearthed Union Hand-Roasted coffee Univerciok UPF-COUFIDOU

172 800 434 431 483 439 1010 911 229 528 620 160 825, 725 625 628 207 510 534 835 534 520 48 821

Vadoacena Vallebona Vallecoppa Valnerina Tartufi Valrhona Vega CarabaÒa S.L. Very Food Villa Soft Drinks Villanova Food Vima Walkers Shortbread Watkins UK Welsh Assembly Government Wenlock Spring Water Wicks Manor Pork Winebox t/a WBC Womersley Fruit and Herb Vinegars Xa Trading Yorkshire Crisp Company Your Piece Baking Company Zest Specialities Zeste

Every effort has been made to ensure the details contained in this listing are correct. Fine Food Digest cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions.

we make it so you don’t have to!

Whether you are a farm shop, deep in the countryside, looking for a traditional product, or a smart deli in the centre of a fashionable cosmopolitan city, we have preserves that you would be proud to have on your shelves.

highfield preserves AwArds GreAt tAste & tAste of the west GREAT 11 Gold 13 silver 8 bronze


If you are interested in increasing your brand awareness, then we have something to fit every market with our Traditional and Contemporary Ranges. Traditional (available in own label) Made in the traditional slow way and only in small batches. Our traditional range is perfect whether it is

Don’t leave advertisers in the dark – tell them you saw them in

for your local farm shop, bakery or butchers. Packed in attractive jars, with traditional mop caps, for that truly home-made appearance.

Contemporary (available in own label) Made using exactly the same methods as our traditional range, the new contemporary range sits perfectly on any modern deli counter. Packed in a round jar with a plain silver lid and a smart, no fuss label.

Christmas Beautiful small, large and extra large ‘Christmas Present’ jars, all filled with our finest seasonal preserves, making perfect gifts and stocking fillers. Decoratively packaged with Christmas in mind, perfect for any festive table.

01963 824464 64

September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8

Highfield Preserves, Unit 3, Mountbatten Rd, Tiverton. Devon EX16 6SW.

Tel: 01884-256362 Fax: 01884-253729

A speciality jam range priced for everyday use and a high-end sea salt S U P LI E P favoured by Michelin-starred chefs are among a string of new French lines being introduced this autumn by importer France Gourmet. Les Comtes de Provence is a premium supermarket jams range in its home country that, according to Christian Cazazian of France Gourmet, will give delis and farm shops here an everyday option to set against their more gifty British preserves. “A lot of jams sold in delis are in 180g or 200g sizes and are priced as a gift or a treat,” says Cazazian. “And I’ve run into small French producers whose jams would be £8-10 by the time they arrived here. But delis and farm shops should have an everyday range too. These are 370g jars, which will last the customer all week, and will sell for under £4.00.” The Les Comtes de Provence range includes traditional, organic (RRP £4.40-4.50) and high fruit options, with flavours including mandarin & clementine, which won a two-star Great Taste

Yoghurt gets filled with care

Yoghurt producer Tiresford Guernsey Gold has automated its production with a new volumetric filler from Riggs Autopack to keep pace with increased demand for its products. A semi automatic table top filling machine is now filling 140g fruit yoghurt pots and 400g natural yoghurt pots. This compact and robust volumetric filler is designed for artisan food manufacturers producing short batch runs, or manufacturers who need to improve production rates by moving from manual filling to a more accurate and repeatable process. The filler provides damage free handling of hot and cold food and liquid products as well as deposit accuracy and weight control. At Tiresford, the unit has been easily integrated into existing production systems. The purchase by Tiresford followed successful machine trials at its Cheshire farm. 01282 440040


Awards gold this year. The same manufacturer is also making two new own-label products for France Gourmet – an onion confit with Monbazillac and a black olive tapenade. Also new from the importer is the Terre Exotique range of high-premium salts, peppers and spices in 90g canisters, including Fleur de Sel with grilled spices: Madagascan sea salt with sesame, coriander, garlic, cumin and fenugreek. France Gourmet will be at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair (Stand 617). 0207 639 1711

What the well-dressed salad is wearing… The new Ecoco salad packs from catering packaging and branding specialist Planglow are said to be the only laminated yet fully biodegradable packs of their kind – and 25% cheaper than existing packs thanks to improved production methods. The laminate inside the tuck-top packs, which are available in two sizes, means they can be used for heavily dressed salads. Oil-based or mayonnaise-based dressings are contained with no risk of leakage, says Planglow The laminate is wood-

pulp based, which means it can be composted, even by the consumer at home. The leafy Ecoco design and window shape highlight the environmental benefits, while an additional viewing window on the side allows the contents to be viewed when stacked on the shelf. 0117 3178600

Shelf ready pack highlights ethical range Steenbergs has a new pack for its organic and Fairtrade Madagascan Bourbon vanilla pods to fit with its ethical home S U P LI E P baking range brand. These new blister packs allow Steenbergs to carry the Fairtrade mark for the first time as well as being easy to hang in a retail outlet. Co-owner and founder of Steenbergs Axel Steenberg says: “We’ve been buying Fairtrade vanilla for some time and trading it but we’ve been unable to sell it as Fairtrade to the consumer and retailers because of the logistics of getting a Fairtrade logo on a small tube.” Also new in the Fairtrade range are the chocolate drops which are also dairy and gluten free. The RRP for these drops is £2.10 for 65g while the RRP for the vanilla pod pack is £5.85. EDITE CR











Purity Trading, the company behind The Curry Tree spice mixes, is introducing a new S U P LI E P selection of pastes and pickles hand-produced in Goa and all using Goan toddy, an all-natural fermented coconut vinegar. The vinegar itself is available at an RRP of £4.00 for 500ml, and forms the basis for the gluten-free and vegan cooking pastes and pickles (RRP £2.99 for 200g) which include Goan caffrell, Goan vindaloo, Goan recheado piri piri, Goan prawn balcho pickle, Goan tendlim (gerkin), Indian lime and shredded mango chutney. Delivery is free on orders of £100, with the option to spread this order across Curry Tree spice mixes too. Purity Trading will be at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair (Stand 935).


French preserves give delis and farm shops an ‘everyday’ option

0845 127 7400


products, packaging & promotions

Pickles and pastes based on Goan toddy vinegar EDITE CR




Looking for suppliers accredited by the Guild of Fine Food? Follow the logo

01765 640088

British designs make a stir T&G Woodware launched its ‘Street Party’ and ‘Village Fete’ ranges at the Exclusively Housewares show in June, and they are now available nationwide. The new bold design of Union Jack and bunting was well received by visitors to the show. It is designed to help celebrate national occasions all the way to the Olympics while also being “an ideal gift”. The range of ceramic pieces includes teapots, mugs, jugs, storage jars, creamer, sugar and jam pot. Each piece is made from earthenware, which is durable and dishwasher safe. There’s also a tea cosy. Suggested retail prices range from £2.99 up to £17.95. This new selection means T&G now has over 650 products in its portfolio, including the award-winning CrushGrind pepper mills. 01275 841841 Vol.11 Issue 8 September 2010


Deli-cious Fine Foods

seeks an interested UK Distributor or Wholesaler for our innovative range of • Infused Olive Oils • Flavoured Balsam Vinegars • Herb & Spice Mixes, Dips and Blends • Fruit Mustards & Dressing Glazes

All our products have been created with simplicity and convenience in mind Culinary creativity and flexibility Excellent Quality, Natural Ingredients & Great Tasting award winners Contemporary branding with unique shelf appeal We are looking for an effective ‘route to market’ for these products and can provide full marketing and merchandising support to work with the right business partner Contact Craig Riches: 0031 624363571 for more information


September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8




product news from Guild accredited suppliers

• Two zesty new flavours – mint madness marinade and chilli sensation – have been launched by olive and antipasti company The Olive Queen. Mint madness is a combination of Greek green and black olives marinated in mint, oregano, rosemary, garlic and lemon zest and is available in 275g jars or 3.2kg tubs (for delicatessens).







products, packaging & promotions

Looking for suppliers accredited by the Guild of Fine Food? Follow the logo


0845 543 8484

• Beckleberry’s has added a new flavour to its gourmet sorbet range by working with a new spirits producer in Northumberland, Northumbria Spirit. It is now using Jack Cain’s gin in its slow gin sorbet to provide “a refreshing tasty sorbet which has an added twist”. It has always been part of Beckleberry’s policy to support fellow suppliers from the region. 0191 414 1180

• Terra Rossa has launched a Jordanian gift box containing six 50ml bottles of its plain and infused extra virgin olive oils. The selection box contains the first cold-pressed evoo, chilli infused olive oil, lemon infused olive oil, basil infused olive oil, the new garlic infused olive oil and unfiltered and cold drip extracted Sinolea evoo. 020 8661 9695

• To recognise Breast Cancer Awareness month, Luscombe Drinks will be donating 15p from every bottle of its cranberry crush sold during September, October and November to Cancer Research UK. Combining the sharpness of organic cranberries, the scent of Damascan rose water and the roundness of Madagascan vanilla, the pink soft drink has a long, dry finish.

• Chefs in the kitchen with pots and pans bubbling provide the background for Chef on Board’s redesigned packaging for its handmade frozen ready-meals. The new look packs come in six different colours and to launch the redesign, new stockists are being offered a mixed ‘taster’ case of 25 meals at a wholesale price of £75 for a limited period. 01981 250494

01364 643036

• Ballancourt has included a 1kg catering size tin in its range of French patés following customer requests from delis and farm shops. Two recipes – Périgord paté with duck and farmhouse pork paté – are available in this new size, with each tin containing sufficient for about 20 x 50g portions. Unopened, tins can be kept at ambient temperature for at least two years. 01202 480480

• Garlic mayonnaise is the latest offering from extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil producer Hillfarm Oils. The garlic combines with the nutty flavour of the rapeseed oil and free range ‘Freedom Food’ whole eggs to create a creamy mayonnaise with a fresh garlic taste. It is available in a 345g jar and contains no artificial colourings, flavourings or sweeteners. 01986 798660

• Artisan bakery Peter’s Yard is celebrating winning a two star gold in this year’s Great Taste Awards for its handmade Swedish crispbreads while launching a new 350g pack size of its large crispbread ‘wheels’. The new boxes contain five large crispbreads which can be used for entertaining or as a gift for a food lover. It has a RRP of £4.99. 0131 228 5876

• Rochdale-based Divine Deli is launching a range of cake decorating products this month, including over 50 glitters, sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles and Italian marzipan cake toppers. A merchandising stand is also being made available free of charge. The new range of products will be on show at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair this month (Stand 1186). 01706 313001

• The organic Dolomiti espresso blend of coffee roasted by Alpen Sierra in Northern California and imported and distributed in the UK by Glenfinlas Coffee has won a two star gold Great Taste Award. The blend is a slightly lighter roast than conventional Southern Italian espressos and is only available as whole beans in 340g retail bags or 2.27kg bulk bags. 0131 220 8251

• Bespoke Foods is offering Thai Pavilion, a new range of authentic Thai stir fry meal kits made from fresh ingredients based on traditional recipes and manufactured and packed in Thailand. Four different varieties in the range include lemongrass, Thai peanut, sweet & tangy citrus and Pad Thai. Each 200g pack contains rice noodles and a sachet of sauce. 020 7819 4322

• Two new flavours – red pepper, and milk caramel Fleur de Sel – have been added to the French chocolate fondues available from BMC Global, all based on dark, milk and white chocolate. The ceramic pots are heated for a few minutes, and then fruits, croissants, marshmallows or a dessert or snack can be dipped into the chocolate. 020 7702 1528 Vol.11 Issue 8 September 2010






• Chocoholly has developed a new range of handmade organic chocolate with unusual flavours which is now to be stocked in John Lewis Foodhalls. The range introduces flavours such as cranberry & cinnamon, chilli & coconut and geranium. At the same time, the company is launching handmade organic 40g mini chocolate bars as well as a range of Christmas gifts. 07780 975 068

• Pies and pasties from Chunk of Devon are now available outside of the South West via chilled food wholesaler Coombe Farm Direct. The company has been fielding calls from outside its area since it appeared on TV, including GMTV and Channel 4’s Gerry’s Big Decision, and will now be able to supply its tasty, simple and natural products beyond its borders. 01404 814401

• Long-established retail ticket and counter display company Pentic is relaunching itself to meet changing customer needs. First up is its new e-commerce website, which allows customers to purchase its products on line for the first time. The product range is also changing to include smaller and more elegant looking ticket holders, a range of smaller holders and reversible blackboard-effect tickets 020 8461 9384

• Copas Traditional Turkeys has been awarded a two star gold in the Great Taste Awards for its free-range bronze turkeys. This award comes soon after the company won another national award, this time for heath & welfare in poultry. “We are delighted with both wins,” says Jodi Cavaye from Copas. “Consumers are looking for high animal welfare and great taste.” 01628 499980

• Organic food producer Feeding Your Imagination has launched a new e-commerce website and planted 10 broad leaf trees in the process. The artisan producer has sponsored 10 trees to be planted as part of its agreement with e-commerce provider Studiowide, in partnership with Tree Appeal. Its new website allows online purchasing of the company’s organic therapeutic chocolate range. 0845 602 6862

• Ecobags has introduced a range of eyecatching wall coverings, banners, table covers and surrounds as well as shop display unit covers made from jute. The covers can be designed to exact customer specification and can be printed with company logos. These new products, along with custom-made bags, will be on show at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair this month (Stand 952). 01752 600367


• The Amand Traiteur range of terrines and delicacies from Meridian Sea now includes this year’s Christmas lines. Fresh-filled Millefeuilles slices, such as salmon and sorrel with whole pieces of salmon, and scallop with Jerusalem artichoke, all come in 560g units containing eight pre-sliced portions. They can be used at the deli counter, restaurant or for home dining. 01822 852723

• Just Crisps from Just Oil use only two ingredients, with a little bit of seasoning. Homegrown potatoes are sliced with their skin on and batchcooked in the company’s award-winning rapeseed oil. The oil contains only 6% saturated fat. 01543 493081

• A range of six garden gift packs is launched by The Bay Tree Food Co this month. Each themed gift pack is decorated with a quintessential English garden design, and holds miniature and standard jars of the company’s preserves, chutneys and jellies including Very Lemon Curd, spicy onion relish and redcurrant jelly. 01749 831300

• Visitors to stand 1138 at this month’s Speciality & Fine Food Fair will be able to taste Chegworth Valley’s seasonal Winter Warmer apple juice. Apples from the Deme family farm are pressed and then infused with nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and cloves to produce a mulled apple juice that can be heated up for a winter treat. 01223 523793 www.chegworthvalley. com

September 2010 · Vol.11 Issue 8



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digest Vol.11 Issue 8 · September 2010


Indian Inspired Chocolate

Take your customers on a journey to the East with our collection of chocolates inspired by the vibrant colours and flavours of India. Made in London using carefully selected ingredients that will keep your customers coming back for more! Visit us at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair, London Olympia 5-7 September 2010 Call: 0800 612 20 40 72 September 2010 路 Vol.11 Issue 8

indian inspired confectionery

Fine Food Digest September  

Authoritative, committed and rarely afraid to express opinions, Fine Food Digest magazine has been the voice of speciality food and drink fo...